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Disutility of pollution and endogenous growth

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  • Philippe Michel
  • Gilles Rotillon

Abstract

Endogenous growth is generally built on a positive externality hypothesis which is the opposite of a negative externality caused by pollution. We study a linear technology with simple assumption: an aggregate capital stock which represents a learning by doing effect and a pollution flow proportional to production. In this framework, we analyse the precise effects on growth of the disutility of pollution and its interaction with the utility of consumption in an economy without abatement technology. The decentralized equilibrium always leads to unlimited growth, but optimal growth is often limited (the negative effect of pollution dominating the positive effect of learning by doing). In this case, the optimal policy which leads the decentralized economy to follow the optimal growth path is to tax capital; in contrast with the optimal subsidy policy in an economy without pollution. When an abatement technology is introduced, the optimal solution can lead the economy to unlimited growth, whatever the form of the utility function. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental & Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 6 (1995)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 279-300

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:6:y:1995:i:3:p:279-300

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

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Keywords: Environment; pollution; endogenous growth; pollution disutility;

References

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  1. Paul Romer, 1989. "Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Michel, Philippe, 1990. "Some Clarifications on the Transversality Condition," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(3), pages 705-23, May.
  3. Keeler, Emmett & Spence, Michael & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1972. "The optimal control of pollution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 19-34, February.
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  12. Tahvonen, Olli & Kuuluvainen, Jari, 1991. "Optimal growth with renewable resources and pollution," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(2-3), pages 650-661, April.
  13. Bovenberg, A.L. & Smulders, S., 1993. "Environmental Quality and Pollution-Saving Technological Change in Two- Sector Endogenous Growth Model," Papers 9321, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  14. Frederick Ploeg & Cees Withagen, 1991. "Pollution control and the Ramsey problem," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 1(2), pages 215-236, June.
  15. Howarth, Richard B & Norgaard, Richard B, 1992. "Environmental Valuation under Sustainable Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 473-77, May.
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  17. Smith, Vernon L, 1972. "Dynamics of Waste Accumulation: Disposal Versus Recycling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 600-616, November.
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