"Pro-environmental nations experience better economic outcomes on several measures, controlling for other factors, than nations with lax environmental policies."
May 19, 2007 11:36 AM   Subscribe

Environmentalism, globalization and national economies, 1980-2000 [Schofer and Granados in Social Forces, Dec 06] Triple-punch! (1) "We find no impact of environmentalism on foreign investment and trade. Firms and investment do not appear to be fleeing countries with strong environmental standards." (2) "While it is common to assume that environmentalism targets industry, the agricultural sector may be [negatively] affected more significantly." (2) "[S]ociologists influenced by world-system theory [posit that] the relationship between environmentalism and growth could be spurious: environmentalism does not cause growth, but rather coincides with the economic success of core nations. However, broader results do not support this."
posted by Firas (6 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, it's a journal article, but it's a quick read. I'm not convinced that environmental regulation actually boosts economic growth (sounds too counter-intuitive) but their data demonstrates pretty clearly that, empirically speaking, at least it doesn't seem to have had negative effects.

Interestingly enough, their argument that environmentalism causes economic realignment towards efficiency in general (despite short-term troubles in industries during the readjustment period) and their neo-institutionalist claim that the world system changes to align in environmentalism's favour sounds exactly like—a free-trade argument! Suggests to me that the effects of globalization reward both capitalism and regulatory schemes, even though proponents of the two concepts may be sworn adversaries.
posted by Firas at 11:37 AM on May 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

This book was recommended to me by an anti-globalization professor of anthropology... James Ferguson: Global Shadows: Africa in the Neoliberal World Order
posted by acro at 11:44 AM on May 19, 2007

I may have jumped the gun on posting this, it all looks so dry written out on the blue like that :( I just found it really exciting.
posted by Firas at 11:47 AM on May 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

Fascinating stuff, Firas, thanks for the link.
posted by teece at 12:12 PM on May 19, 2007

acro, I dunno… I'll confess to being a hardcore liberal internationalist so my biases are clear (so I posit not that Africa is immune to neoliberal theory but that things are working out and shall continue to do so) but even if you're not a globalizer, isn't "African exceptionalism" sort of icky itself? I know absolutely nothing about anthropology so I'll give the author the benefit of the doubt, but basically, the work seems to be an answer to people who have no explanation for why Africa is "different" thus avoid talking about it, but I'm not sure that there is a large contingent of people out there who really think that Africa is in some way 'fundamentally different' when it comes to globalization. The book seems to be written from a contrarian angle so it does look like it's worth checking out.
posted by Firas at 12:32 PM on May 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

I haven't read it either, but 'exceptionalism' is the meme of the day... Russian, Chinese, American, Western, Israeli ...

Africa has been treated with skepticism by the west for a long time, due to religious, political, racial bias, that the current expansion of Chinese business into the continent calls for this kind of reexamination.
posted by acro at 12:41 PM on May 19, 2007

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