Why might one expect environmental Kuznets curves? Examining the desirability and feasibility of substitution
AbstractThis paper provides simple, transparent intuition for the perhaps surprising and certainly widely debated empirical findings of "environmental Kuznets curves", i.e. U-shaped relationships between per-capita income and indicators of environmental quality. We consider one possible component of such relationships: the linkage between income and household choices that impact upon the environment. Our explicit model emphasizes two features. First, degradation of the environmental endowment is a by-product of household activities. We present a household production model in which consumption of marketed commodities generates both a "good", desired non-environmental services, and a "bad", degradation of the environment. Second, while households can not directly purchase environmental quality, they can reorganize their activities so less degradation results. If environmental quality is a normal good, one expects substitution towards less degrading commodities, so that increases in income will increase environmental quality. We show that natural constraints on the desirability and feasibility of such substitution can produce non-monotonic relationships between household income and environmental quality, and in particular can produce household-level environmental Kuznets curves.
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 InfoPaper provided by Columbia University, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 0102-45.
Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 1022 International Affairs Building, 420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027
Phone: (212) 854-3680
Fax: (212) 854-8059
Web page: http://www.econ.columbia.edu/
More information through EDIRC
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Discussion Paper Coordinator).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.