Authors: Roberta De Santis, Jona Lasinio C.
Published: September, 2015

In a globalized framework, environmental regulations can have a decisive role in influencing countries’ comparative advantages. The conventional perception about environmental protection is that it imposes additional costs on firms, which may reduce their global competitiveness with negative effects on growth and employment. However, some economists, in particular Porter and Van der Linde (1995), argue that pollution is often associated with a waste of resources and that more stringent environmental policies can stimulate innovations that may over-compensate for the costs of complying with these policies. This is known as the Porter hypothesis and suggests the existence of a “double dividend”, for both economic and environmental aspects, related to environmental regulation. In this paper, we adopt a macroeconomic approach to investigate the impact of different environmental instruments on the economy as a whole. We investigate the environmental policy impacts on a sample of European economies in 1995-2008. Our findings suggest that the “narrow” Porter Hypothesis cannot be rejected and that the choice of the policy instruments is not neutral. In particular, market based environmental stringency measures look as the most effective to stimulate innovations and productivity.
See publication