In this paper, we study the waste haven hypothesis, which predicts that waste materials will be exported from high-income developed countries with stringent environmental regulations to developing countries with less rigorous environmental protection. Using data on Japanese export of recyclable waste resources (plastic waste, waste paper, iron and steel scrap, and nonferrous metal scraps), we find evidence from our econometric analysis that Asian countries provide a waste haven for Japan. In particular, Japan exports waste materials to Asian countries with low per capita incomes and large markets. We suggest that environmental regulation should be tightened to reduce waste trade in Asia.
© 2016 by the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology