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Was verursacht die Aufwärtsspirale in der Umweltpolitik? Der Einfluss internationaler Harmonisierung auf nationale Umweltstandards
Konstanz University.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2012 (German)In: Österreichische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft, ISSN 0378-5149, Vol. 41, no 1, 53-72 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The classical theory of regulatory competition in environmental policy predicts a race to the bottom of standards as a consequence of globalization. The empirical evidence is contradictory, which is partly due to the measurement of the regulatory level. Research using environmental quality data seems to show an upward movement. The literature provides us with some causal speculation as to the explanation of an upward dynamic, but so far lacks broadly based empirical proof. This article first complements the existing theory by introducing the factor of international environmental harmonisation. It is hypothesized that international harmonisation leads to an upward movement of the regulatory level. We then test the theory using environmental output data for 24 countries from 1970 to 2005. We find a clear race to the top, no impact of economic competition, and a clear effect of international harmonisation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 41, no 1, 53-72 p.
Keyword [en]
environmental policy, harmonisation, regulatory competiton, race to the top, race to the bottom
National Category
Globalization Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-83765OAI: diva2:576974
Available from: 2012-12-14 Created: 2012-12-14 Last updated: 2013-01-21Bibliographically approved

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Sommerer, Thomas
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