Ranking Distributions of Environmental Outcomes Across Population Groups
AbstractThis paper develops methods for evaluating distributional impacts of alternative environmental policies across demographic groups. The income inequality literature provides a natural methodological toolbox for comparing distributions of environmental outcomes. We show that the most commonly used inequality indexes, such as the Atkinson index, have theoretical properties that make them inappropriate for analyzing bads, like pollution, as opposed to goods, like income. We develop a transformation of the Atkinson index suitable for analyzing bad outcomes. We also show how the rarely used Kolm-Pollak index is particularly convenient for ranking distributions of both good and bad health and environmental outcomes. We demonstrate these methods in the context of emissions standards affecting indoor air quality.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in its series NCEE Working Paper Series with number 201304.
Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision: Aug 2013
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More information through EDIRC
environmental justice; distributional analysis; inequality indexes; Lorenz curves; benefit-cost analysis;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
- Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2013-09-28 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2013-09-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2013-09-28 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2013-09-28 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-RES-2013-09-28 (Resource Economics)
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