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Pollution and life expectancy: How environmental policy can promote growth

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  • Pautrel, Xavier

Abstract

This article investigates the influence of environmental policy (EP) on growth in an AK-type growth model, when finite lifetime is introduced and the link between pollution and life expectancy (through the detrimental impact of pollution on health) is taken into account. Using an overlapping generations model à la Blanchard [Blanchard, O. (1985). Debt, deficits and finite horizon. Journal of Political Economy, 93:223-247], we demonstrate that finite lifetime introduces a "generational turnover effect" which modifies the influence of the EP on growth. Thus, when lifetime is finite and independent from pollution, we show that the "generational turnover effect" limits the detrimental impact of the EP on growth, if agents smooth their consumption over time. When pollution negatively influences life expectancy through health, we demonstrate that the "generational turnover effect" is magnified and that the EP and growth have an inverted U-shaped relationship in the steady-state. In this case, we show that the environmental policy is more likely to promote growth (i.e. it stimulates growth for a wider range of environmental taxes) when the impact of pollution on health is important and/or public expenditures in health are low. Finally, using numerical simulations, we find that for the value of parameters that we have chosen, the EP will be more likely to promote growth when agents smooth consumption over time.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 68 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (February)
Pages: 1040-1051

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2009:i:4:p:1040-1051

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

Related research

Keywords: Growth Environment Overlapping generations;

References

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  1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  2. Mar�A-José Gutiérrez, 2008. "Dynamic Inefficiency in an Overlapping Generation Economy with Pollution and Health Costs," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(4), pages 563-594, 08.
  3. Frank Hettich, 1998. "Growth effects of a revenue-neutral environmental tax reform," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 67(3), pages 287-316, October.
  4. Ligthart, J.E. & Heijdra, B.J., 2000. "The dynamic macroeconomic effects of tax policy in an overlapping generations model," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-141315, Tilburg University.
  5. Olivier J. Blanchard, 1984. "Debt, Deficits and Finite Horizons," NBER Working Papers 1389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ding, Weili & Lehrer, Steven F. & Rosenquist, J.Niels & Audrain-McGovern, Janet, 2009. "The impact of poor health on academic performance: New evidence using genetic markers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 578-597, May.
  7. Philippe Michel & Gilles Rotillon, 1995. "Disutility of pollution and endogenous growth," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 6(3), pages 279-300, October.
  8. Smulders, J.A. & Gradus, R.H.J.M., 1993. "The trade-off between environmental care and long-term growth: Pollution in three proto-type growth models," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-153405, Tilburg University.
  9. Fatih Guvenen, 2005. "Reconciling Conflicting Evidence on the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution: A Macroeconomic Perspective," Macroeconomics 0507005, EconWPA.
  10. Kosempel, Stephen, 2004. "Finite lifetimes and government spending in an endogenous growth model," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 197-210.
  11. Xavier Pautrel, 2008. "Environmental Policy, Education and Growth: A Reappraisal when Lifetime Is Finite," Working Papers 2008.57, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  12. Tetsuo Ono, 2003. "Environmental Tax Policy and Long-Run Economic Growth," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 54(2), pages 203-217.
  13. Oueslati, Walid, 2002. "Environmental policy in an endogenous growth model with human capital and endogenous labor supply," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 487-507, May.
  14. Francesco Ricci, 2004. "Channels of Transmission of Environmental Policy to Economic Growth: A Survey of the Theory," Working Papers 2004.52, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  15. Motohiro Yogo, 2004. "Estimating the Elasticity of Intertemporal Substitution When Instruments Are Weak," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 797-810, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Xavier Pautrel, 2009. "Health-enhancing activities and the environment:How competition for resources make the environmental policy beneficial," Working Papers hal-00423323, HAL.
  2. Goenka, A. & Jafarey, S. & Pouliot, W., 2012. "Pollution, mortality and optimal environmental policy," Working Papers 12/07, Department of Economics, City University London.
  3. Dimitrios Varvarigos & Intan Zanariah Zakaria, 2011. "Growth and Demographic Change: Do Environmental Factors Matter?," Discussion Papers in Economics 11/46, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  4. Stefano Bosi & Lionel Ragot, 2013. "On the optimal control of pollution in a human capital growth model," EconomiX Working Papers 2013-25, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  5. Morley, Bruce & Abdullah, Sabah, 2010. "Environmental Taxes and Economic Growth : Evidence from Panel Causality Tests," Department of Economics Working Papers 18528, University of Bath, Department of Economics.
  6. Basseti, Thomas & Benos, Nikos & Karagiannis, Stelios, 2010. "How policy can influence human capital accumulation and environment quality," MPRA Paper 21754, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2013. "Economic Growth, Health, and the Choice of Polluting Technologies: The Role of Bureaucratic Corruption," Discussion Papers in Economics 13/22, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  8. Aloi, Marta & Tournemaine, Frederic, 2011. "Growth effects of environmental policy when pollution affects health," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 1683-1695, July.

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