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Pollution and life expectancy: How environmental policy can promote growth

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  • Pautrel, Xavier

Abstract

This article investigates the influence of environmental policy (EP) on growth in an AK-type growth model, when finite lifetime is introduced and the link between pollution and life expectancy (through the detrimental impact of pollution on health) is taken into account. Using an overlapping generations model à la Blanchard [Blanchard, O. (1985). Debt, deficits and finite horizon. Journal of Political Economy, 93:223-247], we demonstrate that finite lifetime introduces a "generational turnover effect" which modifies the influence of the EP on growth. Thus, when lifetime is finite and independent from pollution, we show that the "generational turnover effect" limits the detrimental impact of the EP on growth, if agents smooth their consumption over time. When pollution negatively influences life expectancy through health, we demonstrate that the "generational turnover effect" is magnified and that the EP and growth have an inverted U-shaped relationship in the steady-state. In this case, we show that the environmental policy is more likely to promote growth (i.e. it stimulates growth for a wider range of environmental taxes) when the impact of pollution on health is important and/or public expenditures in health are low. Finally, using numerical simulations, we find that for the value of parameters that we have chosen, the EP will be more likely to promote growth when agents smooth consumption over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Pautrel, Xavier, 2009. "Pollution and life expectancy: How environmental policy can promote growth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 1040-1051, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2009:i:4:p:1040-1051
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Abdullah, Sabah & Morley, Bruce, 2014. "Environmental taxes and economic growth: Evidence from panel causality tests," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 27-33.
    2. Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2013. "Economic Growth, Health, and the Choice of Polluting Technologies: The Role of Bureaucratic Corruption," Discussion Papers in Economics 13/22, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    3. Xavier Pautrel, 2015. "Abatement Technology and the Environment–Growth Nexus with Education," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 61(3), pages 297-318, July.
    4. Raffin, Natacha & Seegmuller, Thomas, 2014. "Longevity, pollution and growth," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 22-33.
    5. Kirschbaum, Birgit & Soretz, Susanne, 2017. "Human capital, pollution control, and endogenous growth," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168186, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. repec:kap:enreec:v:68:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10640-016-0041-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Nguyen Thang Dao & Julio Dávila, 2014. "Implementing Steady State Efficiency in Overlapping Generations Economies with Environmental Externalities," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 16(4), pages 620-649, August.
    8. Aditya Goenka & Saqib Jafarey & William Pouliot, 2012. "Pollution, Mortality and Optimal Environmental Policy," Discussion Papers 12-05, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    9. Evangelos V. Dioikitopoulos & Sugata Ghosh & Eugenia Vella, 2016. "Technological Progress, Time Perception and Environmental Sustainability," Working Papers 2016002, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    10. Dimitrios Varvarigos & Intan Zanariah Zakaria, 2011. "Growth and Demographic Change: Do Environmental Factors Matter?," Discussion Papers in Economics 11/46, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    11. Bosi Stefano & Ragot Lionel, 2013. "On the Optimal Control of Pollution in a Human Capital Growth Model," Mathematical Economics Letters, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 9-15, October.
    12. Basseti, Thomas & Benos, Nikos & Karagiannis, Stelios, 2010. "How policy can influence human capital accumulation and environment quality," MPRA Paper 21754, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Natacha Raffin & Thomas Seegmuller, 2014. "The Cost of Pollution on Longevity, Welfare and Economic Stability," AMSE Working Papers 1433, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France, revised 16 Jul 2014.
    14. Karine Constant, 2015. "Environmental Policy and Inequality: A Matter of Life and Death," Working Papers halshs-01174052, HAL.
    15. Aloi, Marta & Tournemaine, Frederic, 2011. "Growth effects of environmental policy when pollution affects health," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 1683-1695, July.
    16. Xavier Pautrel, 2009. "Health-enhancing activities and the environment:How competition for resources make the environmental policy beneficial," Working Papers hal-00423323, HAL.
    17. Klarl, Torben, 2016. "Pollution externalities, endogenous health and the speed of convergence in an endogenous growth model," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 98-113.
    18. Su-Mei Chen & Ling-Yun He, 2015. "Optimal environmental tax swaps and double dividend hypothesis," Papers 1512.01626, arXiv.org.

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