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Preserving or escaping? On the welfare effects of environmental self-protective choices

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  • Antoci, Angelo
  • Borghesi, Simone

Abstract

In modern societies individuals often try to alleviate their personal damages from environmental degradation by increasing their consumption of private goods. Although this “self-protective” behavior is very frequent in industrial economies, insufficient attention has been paid to its economic and environmental consequences. In this paper we show that such a behavior can make everyone worse-off. For this purpose, using as paradigmatic case a two-islands evolutionary model, we prove analytically that environmental “self-protection” may trap the system into an undesirable (Pareto-dominated) situation and discuss a few real-life examples in which this mechanism may have actually occurred. Although the proposed model is deliberately extremely simple, it may provide some interesting insights on an aspect that has been mainly ignored in the literature so far.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 248-254

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:41:y:2012:i:2:p:248-254

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

Related research

Keywords: Self-protective choices; Defensive expenditures; Environmental degradation; Negative externalities; Economic growth;

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References

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  1. Tim Forsyth, 2002. "What happened on "The Beach"? Social movements and governance of tourism in Thailand," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 5(3), pages 326-337.
  2. Glaeser, Edward L. & Kahn, Matthew E., 2004. "Sprawl and urban growth," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 56, pages 2481-2527 Elsevier.
  3. Antoci, Angelo & Bartolini, Stefano, 1999. "Negative externalities as the engine of growth in an evolutionary context," MPRA Paper 13908, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Bartolini, Stefano & Bonatti, Luigi, 2003. "Undesirable growth in a model with capital accumulation and environmental assets," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(01), pages 11-30, February.
  5. Bird, Peter J. W. N., 1987. "The transferability and depletability of externalities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 54-57, March.
  6. Shibata, Hirofumi & Winrich, J Steven, 1983. "Control of Pollution when the Offended Defend Themselves," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(200), pages 425-37, November.
  7. Angelo Antoci & Simone Borghesi & Marcello Galeotti, 2008. "Should we replace the environment?: Limits of economic growth in the presence of self-protective choices," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 35(4), pages 283-297, March.
  8. de la Grandville,Olivier, 2009. "Economic Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521725200, 9.
  9. Bartolini, Stefano & Bonatti, Luigi, 2002. "Environmental and social degradation as the engine of economic growth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-16, November.
  10. Jason Shogren & Thomas Crocker, 1991. "Cooperative and noncooperative protection against transferable and filterable externalities," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 1(2), pages 195-214, June.
  11. de la Grandville,Olivier, 2009. "Economic Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521898010, 9.
  12. Angelo Antoci & Stefano Bartolini, 1997. "Externalities and Growth in an Evolutionary Game," Department of Economics Working Papers 9710, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  13. Marcy Burchfield & Henry G. Overman & Diego Puga & Matthew A. Turner, 2005. "Causes of sprawl: A portrait from space," Working Papers tecipa-192, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  14. Antoci, Angelo & Galeotti, Marcello & Russu, Paolo, 2005. "Consumption of private goods as substitutes for environmental goods in an economic growth model," MPRA Paper 13664, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Antoci, Angelo, 2009. "Environmental degradation as engine of undesirable economic growth via self-protection consumption choices," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 1385-1397, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Antoci, Angelo & Borghesi, Simone & Marletto, Gerardo, 2012. "To drive or not to drive? A simple evolutionary model," MPRA Paper 39560, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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