Should we replace the environment?: Limits of economic growth in the presence of self-protective choices
AbstractPurpose – To protect against the increasing environmental degradation many agents choose today to replace consumption of depleted environmental goods with that of privately produced substitute goods. The present paper aims to highlight how this “self-protective” behaviour that is increasingly frequent in modern societies may affect the welfare of the individuals. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents a combination of narrative with argument and analysis. It first provides several examples of self-protective choices to give a heuristic view of this phenomenon and then examines their effects through a simple evolutionary model that leads the reader beyond a purely intuitive understanding of the substitution mechanism described in the first part. Findings – The paper shows that replacing environmental goods with artificial substitute goods may give rise to an “undesiderable growth” process, that is, a vicious circle between environmental degradation and private consumption which contributes to economic growth but may have negative effects on the welfare of the agents. Originality/value – The paper investigates an aspect of the link between environmental degradation and economic growth that has been mainly ignored in the literature so far. While most contributions have underlined that self-protective choices can boost economic growth, the paper goes one step forward and shows that they can actually give rise to a self-reinforcing growth process in which environmental degradation increases economic growth and viceversa, leading the economy on a welfare-reducing path.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Social Economics.
Volume (Year): 35 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (March)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com
Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Antoci, Angelo & Borghesi, Simone, 2010.
"Preserving or escaping? On the welfare effects of environmental self-protective choices,"
22580, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Antoci, Angelo & Borghesi, Simone, 2012. "Preserving or escaping? On the welfare effects of environmental self-protective choices," The Journal of Socio-Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 248-254.
- Antoci, Angelo & Borghesi, Simone & Russu, Paolo, 2012.
"Environmental protection mechanisms and technological dynamics,"
Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 840-847.
- Antoci, Angelo & Borghesi, Simone & Russu, Paolo, 2011. "Environmental protection mechanisms and technological dynamics," MPRA Paper 36597, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Antoci, Angelo & Sodini, Mauro, 2009. "Indeterminacy, bifurcations and chaos in an overlapping generations model with negative environmental externalities," MPRA Paper 13750, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Angelo Antoci & Simone Borghesi, 2010. "Environmental degradation, self-protection choices and coordination failures in a North–South evolutionary model," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 89-107, June.
- 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.
- Antoci, Angelo & Russu, Paolo & Ticci, Elisa, 2008. "Structural change, economic growth and environmental dynamics with heterogeneous agents," MPRA Paper 13668, University Library of Munich, Germany.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Harris).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.