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The environmental Kuznets curve in a world of irreversibility

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  • Fabien Prieur

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Abstract

We develop an overlapping generations model where consumption is the source of polluting emissions. Pollution stock accumulates with emissions but is partially assimilated by nature at each period. The assimilation capacity of nature is limited and vanishes beyond a critical level of pollution. We first show that multiple equilibria exist. More importantly, some exhibit irreversible pollution levels although an abatement activity is operative. Thus, the simple engagement of maintenance does not necessarily suffice to protect an economy against convergence toward a steady state having the properties of an ecological and economic poverty trap. In contrast with earlier related studies, the emergence of the environmental Kuznets curve is no longer the rule. Instead, we detect a sort of degenerated Environmental Kuznets Curve that corresponds to the equilibrium trajectory leading to the irreversible solution.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 40 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 57-90

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:40:y:2009:i:1:p:57-90

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Keywords: Overlapping generations model; Irreversible pollution; Poverty trap; Environmental Kuznets curve; Q56; D62; D91;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Raouf Boucekkine & Aude Pommeret & Fabien Prieur, 2012. "Optimal regime switching and threshold effects: theory and application to a resource extraction problem under irreversibility," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 12.02, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  2. Fernández, Esther & Pérez, Rafaela & Ruiz, Jesús, 2012. "The environmental Kuznets curve and equilibrium indeterminacy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 1700-1717.
  3. Raouf Boucekkine & Blanca Martinez & Ramon Ruiz-Tamarit, 2013. "Optimal Sustainable Policies under Pollution Ceiling: The Demographic Side," AMSE Working Papers 1354, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised 04 Nov 2013.
  4. Eugenia Vella & Evangelos Dioikitopoulos & Sarantis Kalyvitis, . "Green Spending Reforms, Growth and Welfare with Endogenous Subjective Discounting," DEOS Working Papers 1335, Athens University of Economics and Business.
  5. Jaime McGovern & Olivier Morand & Kevin Reffett, 2013. "Computing minimal state space recursive equilibrium in OLG models with stochastic production," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 54(3), pages 623-674, November.
  6. Wei-Bin Zhang, 2013. "Dynamic Interactions among Growth, Environmental Change, Habit Formation, and Preference Change," The International Journal of Economic Behavior - IJEB, Faculty of Business and Administration, University of Bucharest, vol. 3(1), pages 3-25, December.
  7. repec:ipg:wpaper:7 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Katsuyuki Shibayama & Iain Fraser, 2012. "Non-Homothetic Growth Models for the Environmental Kuznets Curve," Studies in Economics 1206, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  9. Kijima, Masaaki & Nishide, Katsumasa & Ohyama, Atsuyuki, 2010. "Economic models for the environmental Kuznets curve: A survey," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1187-1201, July.
  10. Ben Heijdra & Pim Heijnen, 2013. "Environmental Abatement and the Macroeconomy in the Presence of Ecological Thresholds," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 55(1), pages 47-70, May.
  11. Kirill Borissov & Thierry Brechet & Stephane Lambrecht, 2012. "Environmental maintenance in a dynamic model with heterogenous agents," EUSP Deparment of Economics Working Paper Series Ec-02/12, European University at St. Petersburg, Department of Economics.
  12. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Anna Montini & Roberto Zoboli, 2008. "Environmental Kuznets Curves for Air Pollutant Emissions in Italy: Evidence from Environmental Accounts (NAMEA) Panel Data," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 277-301.
  13. Ben J. Heijdra & Pim Heijnen, 2009. "Environmental Policy and the Macroeconomy under Shallow-Lake Dynamics," CESifo Working Paper Series 2859, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Alain Jean-Marie & Philippe Fabien Prieur & Philippe Mabel Tidball, 2007. "Are Pollution Permits a Cure for Unregulated Growth Diseases ?," Working Papers 07-11, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Oct 2007.
  15. Heijnen, P. & Wagener, F.O.O., 2013. "Avoiding an ecological regime shift is sound economic policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 1322-1341.

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