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Grow Now/Clean Later, or the Pursuit of Sustainable Development?

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  • David O’Connor
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    Abstract

    This paper is a contribution to the ongoing debate on the relationship between economic growth and the environment. Through a contrast of the experiences of two regional groupings of countries — East Asia and Eastern Europe — that have both experienced rapid industrialisation, it makes clear the importance of sound economic policy in encouraging efficient resource use. At the same, by contrasting the experiences of different East Asian countries, it demonstrates that economic policy is not sufficient. In the absence of reinforcing and enforceable environmental policies, rapid urban and industrial growth can cause severe environmental degradation. The paper addresses indirectly the question: what are the costs and benefits of delaying environmental expenditures until late in the development process as some of the high performing East Asian economies have done? It finds that those countries which invested early in environmental improvements experienced virtually no tradeoff in ... En comparant des pays appartenant à deux régions différentes mais qui se sont toutes deux industrialisées rapidement — l’Asie de l’Est et l’Europe de l’Est —, ce document contribue au débat actuel sur les relations entre croissance économique et environnement. Il démontre notamment l’importance de mesures économiquement saines pour favoriser l’utilisation efficiente des ressources. Mais il ressort également de la comparaison de plusieurs pays d’Asie de l’Est que des mesures économiques ne sauraient suffire. En effet, une croissance urbaine et industrielle rapide peut gravement porter atteinte à l’environnement si des politiques environnementales contraignantes et exécutoires ne sont pas adoptées. Le document traite donc en fait indirectement de la question suivante : quels sont les avantages et les inconvénients d’effectuer tardivement dans le processus de développement les dépenses de préservation de l’environnement, à la manière des économies hautement performantes d’Asie de ...

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/043786612388
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Development Centre Working Papers with number 111.

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    Date of creation: Mar 1996
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    Handle: RePEc:oec:devaaa:111-en

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