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Environmental policy stringency and comparative advantage of environmental sensitive goods: a study of textile exports in G20 countries

Alisha Mahajan (School of Economics, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Katra, India)
Kakali Majumdar (School of Economics, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Katra, India)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 16 December 2021

Issue publication date: 24 November 2022




Textile, listed as one of the highly environmentally sensitive goods, its trade is susceptible to be influenced by the implementation of stringent environmental policies. This paper aims to investigate the long-run relationship between revealed comparative advantage (RCA) and Environmental Policy Stringency Index (EPSI) for textile exports of G20 countries in panel data setup.


Apart from trend analysis, the authors have employed Pedroni and Westerlund panel cointegration method and fully modified ordinary least square (FMOLS) method to study the long-run relationship between RCA and EPSI in presence of cross-sectional dependence.


A strong link between trade and environmental stringency is observed for textile in the present study. For G20 countries, slight evidence of the Pollution Haven Hypothesis has also been witnessed in the study. Correspondingly, the results reveal the presence of long-run association between the variables under study, implying that stringent environmental policies reduce RCA for some countries, whereas some countries witness the Porter hypothesis.

Research limitations/implications

The results imply that policy formulation should not aim at limiting the efforts of connecting RCA to environmental stringency but to set trade policies in a wider framework, considering environmental concerns, as these are inseparable subjects. However, this study also provides relevant real-world implications that can support further research.

Practical implications

The present study has important implications for textile exporters such as green innovations. The Porter hypothesis can be a beneficial tool for G20 exporters in enhancing their export performance, especially for the ones dealing in environmentally sensitive goods. This study offers relevant policy implications and provides directions for future research on global trade and environment nexus.


This study deals in a debatable area of research that evaluates the interlinkages between environmental stringency and global trade flows in the G20 countries. An important observation of the study is the asymmetrical nature of policy stringency across different countries and its impact on trade. The unavailability of updated data is the limitation of the present study.



The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.


Mahajan, A. and Majumdar, K. (2022), "Environmental policy stringency and comparative advantage of environmental sensitive goods: a study of textile exports in G20 countries", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 29 No. 9, pp. 2924-2951.



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