Suresh Narayanan: This paper tests the waste haven hypothesis (WHH), which examines the exporting of physical waste materials from countries with stringent environmental regulations to countries where such regulations are lax. The paper focuses on Japan as the exporter of waste and 31 Asian and developed countries as the potential importers of wastes—by implication nations with lax environmental regulations. The paper limits itself to four recyclable resource materials.

This version is a much improved one, with the authors having incorporated many of the earlier suggestions. The paper now discusses more explicitly the gains of both developing countries and Japan from the trade in waste. The authors’ data on the regulation index has improved and, more importantly, they find that the regulation gap (the differences in environmental regulations between Japan and the countries that import waste) significantly affects the waste trade. In other words, they contend that their findings now support...