Is a firm’s ability to export an important determinant of environmental performance? To answer this question, we construct a unique micro dataset that merged two rich firm-level datasets for China for 2007. When combining this new dataset with well-received empirical specifications, we found that both export status and export intensity are associated with lower sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions intensity. In addition to the traditional OLS estimation, we verified this association by using the propensity score matching method. Our findings show that the baseline result still holds. In short, exporters are more environmentally friendly than non-exporters,which is in line with previous evidence reported for developed economies. We further discuss mechanisms that explain the observed pattern and show that exporters realize higher abatement efforts compared to non-exporters. This study complements the literature in terms of providing China’s micro evidence on SO2 abatement efforts. It also serves as a first step toward a better understanding of the impact of trade on the environment, especially in developing countries.

Pei, Jiansuo, Bodo Sturm und Anqi Yu (2019), Are Exporters More Environmentally Friendly? A Re-Appraisal that Uses China’s Micro-Data, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 19-014, Mannheim. Download


Pei, Jiansuo
Sturm, Bodo
Yu, Anqi


Exporters and the environment, firm heterogeneity, SO2 emissions, abatement