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Willingness to Pay for Environmental Quality: Testable Empirical Implications of the Growth and Environment Literature

Listed author(s):
  • Israel Debra

    ()

    (Indiana State University)

  • Levinson Arik

    ()

    (Georgetown)

Several different theoretical models of economic growth and environmental quality each generate inverse-U-shaped pollution-income paths, or "environmental Kuznets curves." They rely on different assumptions to generate the reversal of pollution trends, with correspondingly different policy implications. While the empirical implications for pollution are indistinguishable (by design), the models have distinct implications for the pattern of people's marginal willingness to pay (MWTP) for environmental improvements as a function of income. In this paper we demonstrate those different implications theoretically, and test for them empirically using data from the World Value Survey (WVS). We find strong relationships between MWTP and individual characteristics, such as age, income, and education, but little evidence that MWTP varies systematically with economic growth.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 3 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 1-31

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:contributions.3:y:2004:i:1:n:2
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  1. Whittington, Dale, 1998. "Administering contingent valuation surveys in developing countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 21-30, January.
  2. William T. Harbaugh & Arik Levinson & David Molloy Wilson, 2002. "Reexamining The Empirical Evidence For An Environmental Kuznets Curve," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 541-551, August.
  3. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
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  7. John, A & Pecchenino, R, 1994. "An Overlapping Generations Model of Growth and the Environment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1393-1410, November.
  8. Peter A. Diamond & Jerry A. Hausman, 1994. "Contingent Valuation: Is Some Number Better than No Number?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 45-64, Fall.
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  10. Bulte, Erwin H. & van Soest, Daan P., 2001. "Environmental degradation in developing countries: households and the (reverse) Environmental Kuznets Curve," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 225-235, June.
  11. Stokey, Nancy L, 1998. "Are There Limits to Growth?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 1-31, February.
  12. Kelly, David L., 2003. "On environmental Kuznets curves arising from stock externalities," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1367-1390, June.
  13. Hettige, Hemamala & Mani, Muthukumara & Wheeler, David, 2000. "Industrial pollution in economic development: the environmental Kuznets curve revisited," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 445-476, August.
  14. Koop, Gary & Tole, Lise, 1999. "Is there an environmental Kuznets curve for deforestation?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 231-244, February.
  15. Hilton, F. G. Hank & Levinson, Arik, 1998. "Factoring the Environmental Kuznets Curve: Evidence from Automotive Lead Emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 126-141, March.
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