Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, Economics, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2005
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Economics, University of California / Berkeley
The Impact of Globalization on Environmental Choices: Evidence from Brazilian Manufacturing Firms

The anti-globalization movement has claimed that trade openness and increasing foreign direct investment undermine environmental standards in developing countries. Defenders of globalization, on the other end, suggest that developing countries will become cleaner through technology diffusion from imports, multinationals, and the adoption of international standards. Despite this general controversy, there exists very little rigorous evidence of the impact of economic globalization on environmental outcomes in developing countries. In this project I focus on the potential effects of globalization on industrial pollution and test the hypothesis that economic globalization improves the environmental behavior of firms affected by trade openness and foreign direct investment. In order to do so, I will use firm level data from the Brazilian Statistical Bureau (specifically, the Brazilian annual manufacturing survey that includes pollution control indicators). The research design is based on a comparison of the change in the environmental behavior of firms that become exporters or/and foreign owned with firms that only produce for the domestic market. To identify this change, I will use data before and after the large 1999 depreciation of the Brazilian currency. To further understand the environmental motivations that firms face with globalization, I will conduct interviews with managers of industrial plants and environmental regulators. This will allow me to do case studies with firms that recently started to export and/or became owned by foreign capital in order to assess how their environmental practices changed.