Events & Media: Aseem Prakash

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara



"Economic Globalization, Foreign Aid, and Pollution"

Aseem Prakash
Department of Political Science
University of Washington
Monday, June 4, 2012
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1424

"Aseem's expertise in trade and globalization allow him to offer a fascinating perspective on international environmental regulation, especially voluntary regulation.┬áIn this talk, he will explore how trade and foreign investment affect pollution, adding a welcome international dimension to our ongoing conversation about environmental institutions." — Sarah Anderson, host

How does foreign aid condition the effect of trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) on pollution levels in recipient countries? Governments in the developing world tend to favor economic growth over environmental protection. While pro-environmental pressures exerted by multinational corporations (MNCs) and export partners might create incentives for governments to strengthen and enforce environmental laws, foreign aid allows them to counter these pressures. However, because MNCs tend to have a deeper political and economic impact on host economies than export partners, host governments with large influxes of aid should be less successful at countering the salutary impact of FDI on the environment than that of exports. We test these hypotheses using a panel of 89 aid recipient countries (1980-2005). While foreign aid mitigates the pro-environmental influence of exports, it makes less of a dent on the influence of FDI. These results hold over a range of specifications, including examining bilateral and multilateral aid separately.

Aseem Prakash is professor of political science and the Walker Family Professor for the College of Arts and Sciences at University of Washington, Seattle. He is the founding General Editor of the Cambridge University Press Series on Business and Public Policy and the Co-editor of Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

He is the author of Greening the Firm: The Politics of Corporate Environmentalism (Cambridge, 2000) and the co-author of The Voluntary Environmentalists: Green Clubs, ISO 14001, and Voluntary Environmental Regulations (Cambridge, 2006). His recent co-edited books include Advocacy Organizations and Collective Action (Cambridge, 2010), Voluntary Regulations of NGOs and Nonprofits: An Accountability Club Framework (Cambridge, 2010), and Voluntary Programs: A Club Theory Perspective (The MIT Press, 2009).

NOTE: Research colloquia are hosted by Bren faculty members and are generally high-level talks about research in a particular area of environmental science and management.


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