Book & E-book

Firms’ global value chain participation and its environmental performance - A review of the empirical literature


  • Semrau
  • F.O.
Publication Date

Global diffusion of previously developed clean and efficient energy technologies is continuing to define the pace of the international transition to a green economy over the next few years. Empirical firm-level analysis offers a powerful approach to investigate how a firm’s global value chain participation relates to its environmental performance. In this chapter, I review insights referring to two relatively separated strands of literature. First, scholars from the international economics literature provide strong evidence for an environmental efficiency premium from exports, foreign direct investments and proximity to final consumption. Second, scholars analysing the determinants of environmental innovation adoption go beyond efficiency arguments and cover a diverse set of environmental domains. Results from the latter are ambiguous and crucially depend on the sample under investigation. I conclude the review with the identification of nine key findings and a discussion of possible research gaps.

Kiel Institute Expert


JEL Classification
F18, F64, O33, Q55, Q56

Key Words

  • Trade and environment
  • Impacts of globalization
  • Environmental/ eco/ green innovation
  • Technological change
  • Review