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Is inequality harmful for the environment in a growing economy ?

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  • Hubert Kempf

    ()
    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne)

  • Stéphane Rossignol

    ()
    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, UVSQ - Université Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines - Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ))

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the relationship between inequality and the environment in a growing economy from a political economy perspective. We consider an endogenous growth economy, where growth generates pollution and a deterioration of the environment. Public expenditures may either be devoted to supporting growth or abating pollution. The decision over the public programs is done in a direct democracy, with simple majority rule. We prove that the median voter is decisive and show that inequality is harmful for the environment : the poorer the median voter relative to the average individual, the less she will tax and devote resources to the environment, preferring to support growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00117046.

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Date of creation: May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00117046

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Keywords: Inequality; growth; environmental policy; political economy.;

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  1. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli, 2001. "Endogenous Policy Choice: The Case of Pollution and Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(2), pages 369-405, July.
  2. Marsiliani, L. & Renstrom, T.I., 2000. "Inequality, Environmental Protection and Growth," Discussion Paper, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research 2000-34, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Alesina, Alberto & Rodrik, Dani, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-90, May.
  4. Torras, Mariano & Boyce, James K., 1998. "Income, inequality, and pollution: a reassessment of the environmental Kuznets Curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 147-160, May.
  5. Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve & García-Peñalosa, Cecilia, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Scholarly Articles 12502063, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Andreoni, James & Levinson, Arik, 2001. "The simple analytics of the environmental Kuznets curve," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 269-286, May.
  7. Kahn, Matthew E & Matsusaka, John G, 1997. "Demand for Environmental Goods: Evidence from Voting Patterns on California Initiatives," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(1), pages 137-73, April.
  8. Fiaschi, Davide, 1999. "Growth and inequality in an endogenous fiscal policy model with taxes on labor and capital," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 727-746, November.
  9. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S103-26, October.
  10. van Marrewijk, Charles & van der Ploeg, Federick & Verbeek, Jos, 1993. "Is growth bad for the environment? Pollution, abatement, and endogenous growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1151, The World Bank.
  11. Magnani, Elisabetta, 2000. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve, environmental protection policy and income distribution," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 431-443, March.
  12. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  13. Hubert Kempf & Stéphane Rossignol, 2005. "Growth, Inequality, and Integration: A Political Economy Analysis," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 7(5), pages 709-739, December.
  14. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. " Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-87, June.
  15. Earnhart, Dietrich, 1997. "Enforcement of Environmental Protection Laws under Communism and Democracy," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(2), pages 377-402, October.
  16. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
  17. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1997. "Politico-economic equilibrium and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 243-272, January.
  18. Hirtle, Beverly, 2009. "Credit derivatives and bank credit supply," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 125-150, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Vincent Anesi & Philippe De Donder, 2011. "Secondary issues and party politics: an application to environmental policy," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 519-546, April.
  2. Francesco Vona & Francesco Nicolli, 2014. "Energy market liberalization and renewable energy policies in OECD countries," Working Papers 2014/18, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  3. Nguyen-Van, Phu & Pham, Thi Kim Cuong, 2013. "Endogenous fiscal policies, environmental quality, and status-seeking behavior," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 32-40.
  4. Hubert Kempf & Stéphane Rossignol, 2010. "National Politics and International Agreements," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00497463, HAL.
  5. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/f6h8764enu2lskk9p544jc8op is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Francesco Nicolli & Francesco Vona, 2012. "The Evolution of Renewable Energy Policy in OECD Countries: Aggregate Indicators and Determinants," Working Papers 2012.51, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  7. BORISSOV, Kirill & BRECHET, Thierry & LAMBRECHT, Stéphane, 2012. "Environmental maintenance in a dynamic model with heterogenous agents," CORE Discussion Papers, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) 2012008, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  8. Francesco Vona & Fabrizio Patriarca, 2010. "Income Inequality and the Development of Environmental Technologies," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE) 2010-22, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  9. Kirill Borissov & Thierry Bréchet & Stéphane Lambrecht, 2012. "Environmental Maintenance in a Dynamic Model with Heterogenous Agents," Working Papers hal-00989799, HAL.

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