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Is Inequality Harmful For The Environment In A Growing Economy?

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  • HUBERT KEMPF
  • STÉPHANE ROSSIGNOL

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 made 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. Copyright 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd..

Suggested Citation

  • Hubert Kempf & Stéphane Rossignol, 2007. "Is Inequality Harmful For The Environment In A Growing Economy?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 53-71, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:19:y:2007:i:1:p:53-71
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. 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.
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    4. 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.
    5. 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.
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    11. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre-André Jouvet & Philippe Michel & Pierre Pestieau, 2008. "Public and private environmental spending: a political economy approach," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 9(3), pages 177-191, September.
    2. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/f6h8764enu2lskk9p544jc8op is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Vona, Francesco & Patriarca, Fabrizio, 2011. "Income inequality and the development of environmental technologies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 2201-2213, September.
    4. Vincent Anesi & Philippe De Donder, 2011. "Secondary issues and party politics: an application to environmental policy," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 36(3), pages 519-546, April.
    5. Francesco Nicolli & Francesco Vona, 2012. "The evolution of renewable energy policy in Oecd countries:aggregate indicators and determinants," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2012-13, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    6. Kirill Borissov & Thierry Brechet & Stephane Lambrecht, 2012. "Environmental maintenance in a dynamic model with heterogenous agents," CEEES Paper Series CE3S-02/12, European University at St. Petersburg, Department of Economics.
    7. Andrea Mantovani & Ornella Tarola & Cecilia Vergari, 2014. "Hedonic quality, social norms, and environmental campaigns," Working Papers 2014/36, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    8. 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.
    9. Kempf, Hubert & Rossignol, Stéphane, 2013. "National politics and international agreements," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 93-105.
    10. Can Askan Mavi, 2016. "Uncertain Catastrophic Events : Another Source of Environmental Traps ?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01275174, HAL.
    11. Oueslati, Walid, 2015. "Growth and welfare effects of environmental tax reform and public spending policy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-13.
    12. Can Askan Mavi, 2016. "Uncertain Catastrophic Events : Another Source of Environmental Traps ?," Working Papers halshs-01275174, HAL.
    13. Éloi Laurent, 2009. "Écologie et inégalités," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(2), pages 33-57.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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