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Environmental Policy and the Macroeconomy under Shallow-Lake Dynamics

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  • Ben J. Heijdra
  • Pim Heijnen

Abstract

We study the environmental and economic effects of public abatement in the presence of multiple stable steady-state ecological equilibria. Under shallow-lake dynamics (SLD), the isocline for the stock of pollution features two stable branches, a good and a bad one. Assuming that the ecology is initially located on the upper (bad) branch of the isocline, the ecological equilibrium is hysteretic and a suitably designed temporary abatement policy can be used to steer the environment from the bad to the good equilibrium. In all models considered in this paper, a “cold turkey” abatement policy is optimal, i.e. the largest feasible shock should be administered for the shortest possible amount of time. Depending on the particular model used to characterize the economic system, there is a capital feedback effect that either helps or hinders the attainment of a successful abatement policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2859.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2859

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Related research

Keywords: Shallow-lake dynamics; bifurcation; environmental policy; abatement; overlapping generations;

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References

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  1. Mäler, K-G. & Xepapadeas, A. & Zeeuw, A.J. de, 2003. "The economics of shallow lakes," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-123314, Tilburg University.
  2. A. Bovenberg & Ben Heijdra, 2002. "Environmental Abatement and Intergenerational Distribution," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(1), pages 45-84, September.
  3. Ranjan, Ram & Shortle, James, 2007. "The environmental Kuznets curve when the environment exhibits hysteresis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 204-215, October.
  4. Wirl, Franz, 2004. "Sustainable growth, renewable resources and pollution: Thresholds and cycles," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1149-1157, March.
  5. Wagener, F.O.O., 2009. "Shallow lake economics run deep: Nonlinear aspects of an economic-ecological interest conflict," CeNDEF Working Papers 09-05, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
  6. Fabien Prieur, 2009. "The environmental Kuznets curve in a world of irreversibility," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 57-90, July.
  7. Judd, Kenneth L., 1999. "Optimal taxation and spending in general competitive growth models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 1-26, January.
  8. W.A. Brock & D. Starrett, 2003. "Managing Systems with Non-convex Positive Feedback," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 26(4), pages 575-602, December.
  9. Heijdra, Ben J., 2009. "Foundations of Modern Macroeconomics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199210695, September.
  10. Bovenberg, A. Lans & Heijdra, Ben J., 1998. "Environmental tax policy and intergenerational distribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 1-24, January.
  11. Heijnen, P. & Wagener, F.O.O., 2008. "Managing the environment and the economy in the presence of hysteresis and irreversibility," CeNDEF Working Papers 08-13, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
  12. Muradian, Roldan, 2001. "Ecological thresholds: a survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 7-24, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Crépin, Anne-Sophie & Norberg, Jon & Mäler, Karl-Göran, 2011. "Coupled economic-ecological systems with slow and fast dynamics -- Modelling and analysis method," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(8), pages 1448-1458, June.

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