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The natalist bias of pollution control

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  • de la Croix, David
  • Gosseries, Axel

Abstract

For a given technology, two ways are available to achieve low polluting emissions: reducing production per capita or reducing population size. This paper insists on the tension between the former and the latter. Controlling pollution either through Pigovian taxes or through tradable quotas schemes encourages agents to shift away from production to tax free activities such as procreation and leisure. This natalist bias will deteriorate the environment further, entailing the need to impose ever more stringent pollution rights per person. However, this will in turn gradually impoverish the successive generations: population will tend to increase further and production per capita to decrease as the generations pass. One possible solution consists in capping population too.

Suggested Citation

  • de la Croix, David & Gosseries, Axel, 2012. "The natalist bias of pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 271-287.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:63:y:2012:i:2:p:271-287
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2011.07.002
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    2. Lehmijoki, Ulla & Palokangas, Tapio K., 2016. "Fertility, Mortality and Environmental Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 10465, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Dao, Nguyen Thang & Dávila, Julio, 2013. "Can geography lock a society in stagnation?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(3), pages 442-446.
    4. Lesly Cassin, 2018. "The effects of migration and pollution externality on cognitive skills in Caribbean economies: a Theoretical analysis," EconomiX Working Papers 2018-30, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    5. Fabio Mariani & Agustin Perez Barahona & Natacha Raffin, 2019. "Population and the environment: the role of fertility, education and life expectancy," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2019008, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    6. Dao, Nguyen Thang & Dávila, Julio, 2013. "Can geography lock a society in stagnation?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(3), pages 442-446.
    7. Lupi, Veronica & Marsiglio, Simone, 2021. "Population growth and climate change: A dynamic integrated climate-economy-demography model," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 184(C).
    8. Emeline Bezin, 2013. "The dynamics of environmental concern and the evolution of pollution," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 13-09, INRAE UMR SMART-LERECO.
    9. Dominique Bureau & Alain Quinet & Katheline Schubert, 2020. "Cost-Benefit Analysis For Climate Action," Working Papers 2020.03, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
    10. DEVOLDER, Olivier, 2011. "Stochastic first order methods in smooth convex optimization," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 2011070, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    11. de la Croix, David & Gobbi, Paula E., 2017. "Population density, fertility, and demographic convergence in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 13-24.
    12. Bezin, Emeline, 2013. "The dynamics of environmental concern and the evolution of pollution," Working Papers 207983, Institut National de la recherche Agronomique (INRA), Departement Sciences Sociales, Agriculture et Alimentation, Espace et Environnement (SAE2).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Overlapping generations; Environmental policy; Endogenous fertility; Quantity–quality tradeoff; Population control;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • 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
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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