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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.

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  • 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
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0343.2007.00302.x
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0343.2007.00302.x
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    2. 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.
    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. Kirill Borissov & Thierry Bréchet & Stéphane Lambrecht, 2012. "Environmental Maintenance in a Dynamic Model with Heterogenous Agents," Working Papers hal-00989799, HAL.
    5. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/f6h8764enu2lskk9p544jc8op is not listed on IDEAS
    6. 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.
    7. Nicolli, Francesco & Vona, Francesco, 2012. "The Evolution of Renewable Energy Policy in OECD Countries: Aggregate Indicators and Determinants," Climate Change and Sustainable Development 130897, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    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. Andrea Mantovani & Ornella Tarola & Cecilia Vergari, 2014. "Hedonic quality, social norms, and environmental campaigns," Working Papers 2014/36, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    10. Kempf, Hubert & Rossignol, Stéphane, 2013. "National politics and international agreements," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 93-105.
    11. Andrea Mantovani & Ornella Tarola & Cecilia Vergari, 2014. "Hedonic quality, social norms, and environmental campaigns," Working Papers 2014/36, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    12. Marta Aloi & Frederic Tournemaine, 2013. "Inequality, growth, and environmental quality trade‐offs in a model with human capital accumulation," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 46(3), pages 1123-1155, August.
    13. Saeed Ghodrati & Javad Harati & Azim Nazari, 2018. "The Democracy and Environment Quality in Selected Countries: An Application of Panel Data," Iranian Economic Review (IER), Faculty of Economics,University of Tehran.Tehran,Iran, vol. 22(1), pages 21-49, Winter.
    14. Can Askan Mavi, 2016. "Uncertain Catastrophic Events : Another Source of Environmental Traps ?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01275174, HAL.
    15. Can Askan Mavi, 2016. "Uncertain Catastrophic Events : Another Source of Environmental Traps ?," Working Papers halshs-01275174, HAL.
    16. Oueslati, Walid, 2015. "Growth and welfare effects of environmental tax reform and public spending policy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-13.
    17. Kirill Borissov & Thierry Bréchet & Stéphane Lambrecht, 2012. "Environmental Maintenance in a Dynamic Model with Heterogenous Agents," Working Papers hal-00989799, HAL.
    18. Yu‐Bong Lai, 2018. "The Feasibility of the Double‐Dividend Hypothesis in a Democratic Economy," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 120(1), pages 211-241, January.
    19. Éloi Laurent, 2009. "Écologie et inégalités," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(2), pages 33-57.

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    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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