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Environmental justice and air pollution: A case study on Italian provinces

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  • Germani, Anna Rita
  • Morone, Piergiuseppe
  • Testa, Giuseppina

Abstract

This paper provides an empirical analysis on the relationship between income, demographic characteristics and concentrations of air industrial pollutants within the Italian provinces. Two general conclusions can be drawn from the empirical results. First, the estimates obtained are consistent with an inverse U-shaped environmental Kuznets curve: air pollution releases increase with income up to a turning point where the relation reverts. Second, there is evidence that air releases tend to be higher in provinces with high concentration of females as households' head and with high concentration of children. Since our findings do not point to environmental discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, this suggests that environmental justice issues in Italy are not likely to manifest themselves along racial and ethnic terms but instead in terms of social categories and gender composition. We also find that the proxy variables employed to measure the efficiency or inefficiency of law enforcement are associated with higher levels of pollution. In terms of policy implications, this result suggests the need to strengthen, all through the country, the local enforcement of environmental laws in order to possibly reduce the negative effects on ambient air pollution.

Suggested Citation

  • Germani, Anna Rita & Morone, Piergiuseppe & Testa, Giuseppina, 2014. "Environmental justice and air pollution: A case study on Italian provinces," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 69-82.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:106:y:2014:i:c:p:69-82
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.07.010
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    1. > Environmental and Natural Resource Economics > Environmental Economics > Environmental justice

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    9. Mohaddeseh Azimi & Feng Feng & Yang Yang, 2018. "Air Pollution Inequality and Its Sources in SO 2 and NO X Emissions among Chinese Provinces from 2006 to 2015," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(2), pages 1-25, January.
    10. Patrick Gourley, 2020. "What are the Long-Term Effects of Prenatal Air Pollution Exposure? Evidence from the BHPS," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 603-635, October.
    11. Kopas, Jacob & York, Erin & Jin, Xiaomeng & Harish, S.P. & Kennedy, Ryan & Shen, Shiran Victoria & Urpelainen, Johannes, 2020. "Environmental Justice in India: Incidence of Air Pollution from Coal-Fired Power Plants," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 176(C).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental justice; Social inequalities; Environmental Kuznets curve; Air pollution emissions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law

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