KDI 정책연구. Vol. 24, No. 1, July 2002, pp. 115-190
The purpose of this paper is to perform empirical studies on the impact of pollution intensity on international competitiveness using 1993 and 1998 data, and to estimate the change in environmental regulation level faced by the firms during 1993～1998. Collecting relevant data and providing them for further studies in the area are another purposes of the paper. The first method is the regression of various indices of international competitiveness on factor costs, such as labor, capital, R&D and pollution abatement costs. Goal of the regression analysis is to estimate the scarcity and comparative advantage effect of each production factor, especially environmental resource. Regression results show that those industries which employ more environmental resource have higher comparative advantage in both years, which implies that Korean firms are endowed with abundant environmental resource compared to other countries. The second method is to compute the relative scarcity indices(HOVL indices) of production factors, proposed by Leamer based on Vanek's generalized Hecksher-Ohlin Theorem. This method estimates the relative scarcity of production factors by computing factor costs embodied in import and export of commodities. This method shows similar results as the regression method; i.e., trade pattern of production factors implies that the manufacturing sector in Korea is endowed with abundant environmental resource compared to other countries. Considering population density, water resource endowment, intensity of economic activity per unit area and current air and water pollution levels, it is evident that Korea is never endowed with abundant environmental resource compared to other countries. Then the abundance of environmental resource revealed by the trade patterns of commodities and production factors implies that Korea's environmental regulation level is excessively generous compared to environmental capacity, and that this increased the environmental resource endowment supplied to firms and thus distorted the inter-industry comparative advantages. Both regression and HOVL methods, on the other hand, show that overall environmental regulation level faced by the firms has been strengthened during 1993～1998.