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Public and private spending for environmental protection: a cross-country policy analysis

  • David Pearce
  • Charles Palmer

OECD data are used to investigate public and private environmental expenditures and, although they are more complete and consistent than other datasets, they are still poor. This is important in the context of measuring the benefits of environmental protection, when little is really known about its actual costs. Despite these limitations, this study demonstrates that there has been no shift towards an increasing private sector burden relative to the public sector over time. The paper also finds little evidence to show that environmental expenditures negatively impact on economic growth, although there is inconsistency between the "no effects" finding of the competitiveness literature and the "negative effects" finding of most of the productivity literature. Finally, the elasticity of expenditure with respect to income is found to be 1.2, lower than would be expected if the "environmental demand effect" is significant in explaining the downward slope of the environmental Kuznets curve.

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Article provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.

Volume (Year): 22 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 403-456

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Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:22:y:2001:i:4:p:403-456
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  1. Suri, Vivek & Chapman, Duane, 1998. "Economic growth, trade and energy: implications for the environmental Kuznets curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 195-208, May.
  2. Gunnar A. Eskeland & Ann E. Harrison, 2002. "Moving to Greener Pastures? Multinationals and the Pollution Haven Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 8888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hanemann, W Michael, 1991. "Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept: How Much Can They Differ?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 635-47, June.
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  5. Aidt, Toke S., 1998. "Political internalization of economic externalities and environmental policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 1-16, July.
  6. 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.
  7. Magnani, Elisabetta, 2000. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve, environmental protection policy and income distribution," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 431-443, March.
  8. Barbera, Anthony J. & McConnell, Virginia D., 1990. "The impact of environmental regulations on industry productivity: Direct and indirect effects," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 50-65, January.
  9. James Andreoni & Arik Levinson, 1998. "The Simple Analytics of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," NBER Working Papers 6739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Annegrete Bruvoll & Solveig Glomsrød & Haakon Vennemo, 1995. "The environmental drag on long- term economic performance: Evidence from Norway," Discussion Papers 143, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
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  13. Ralph Turvey, 2001. "Wanted: Measures of Economic Change," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 2(2), pages 191-196, April.
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  16. Randall, Alan & Stoll, John R, 1980. "Consumer's Surplus in Commodity Space," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 449-55, June.
  17. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521662918 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Marsiliani, L. & Renstrom, T.I., 2000. "Inequality, Environmental Protection and Growth," Discussion Paper 2000-34, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  19. William A Pizer & Jhih-Shyang Shih & Richard D Morgenstern, 1997. "Are We Overstating the Economic Costs of Environmental Protection?," Working Papers 97-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  20. Flores, Nicholas E. & Carson, Richard T., 1997. "The Relationship between the Income Elasticities of Demand and Willingness to Pay," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 287-295, July.
  21. Alan T. Peacock & Jack Wiseman, 1961. "The Growth of Public Expenditure in the United Kingdom," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number peac61-1, August.
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