Economic Growth, Inequality, Democratization, and the Environment
We augment the Stokey (1998) model by allowingagents to differ with respect to environmentalquality and income in order to analyze theimpact of income and environmental inequality,and of democratization on aggregate pollution.We find that the impact of a more equal incomedistribution depends on the degree ofdemocracy. In a complete democracy a more equalincome distribution generates, ceterisparibus, less pollution, which is consistentwith indirect empirical evidence, whereas theopposite is the case if democratic rights arehighly restricted. Furthermore, ademocratization is argued to typically lowerboth the income and the environmental qualityof the median voter. In this case, if, inutility terms, the fall in environmentalquality is worse than the fall in consumptionthe median voter decides to tightenenvironmental legislation so that aggregatepollution decreases. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003
Volume (Year): 25 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
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