Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Applied Economics


Benjamin, Daniel

Committee Member

Baier , Scott

Committee Member

Coffey , Bentley

Committee Member

Tollison , Robert


ABSTRACT This dissertation addresses the broad topic of appropriate metrics, proxies, and estimation methods in environmental economics and international trade research, presented as three separate studies. The first, entitled, 'Something in the Water? Testing for Groundwater Quality Information in the Housing Market,' examines how informed real estate markets are with respect to groundwater quality by using a couple of different proxies for groundwater quality in a hedonic framework. This research topic has potentially suffered from imperfect proxies and incomplete information, which I test. In the second, entitled, 'Do Economic Integration Agreements Actually Work? Issues in Understanding the Causes and Consequences of the Growth in Regionalism,' I address a topic in international trade that has consistently suffered from endogeneity biases in estimations: the effect of economic integration agreements on bilateral trade flows. The third study, called 'Trade Flow Consequences of the European Union's Regionalization of Environmental Regulations,' synthesizes the fields of environmental economics and international trade. I introduce a new proxy - survey data - that does not rely on environmental outcomes and thus hopefully avoids endogeneity. Controlling for any possible interaction effect between environmental regulation stringency and European Union membership, I estimate the effect of increasing environmental regulation stringency on trade flows to and from three groups of countries: high income countries, low income countries, and all countries.

Included in

Economics Commons