Export of Recyclable Materials: Evidence from Japan

Toshihiro Okubo, Yuta Watabe, Kaori Furuyama
2015/12/15
JEL Classification codes : F18, L51, Q56
[ Abstract ]

In this paper, we study the waste haven hypothesis that waste materials are exported to developing countries. Using Japanese trade data on 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 traded waste in Asia.