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Disutility of pollution and endogenous growth

  • Philippe Michel
  • Gilles Rotillon

Endogenous growth is generally built on a positive externality hypothesis which is the opposite of a negative externality caused by pollution. We study a linear technology with simple assumption: an aggregate capital stock which represents a learning by doing effect and a pollution flow proportional to production. In this framework, we analyse the precise effects on growth of the disutility of pollution and its interaction with the utility of consumption in an economy without abatement technology. The decentralized equilibrium always leads to unlimited growth, but optimal growth is often limited (the negative effect of pollution dominating the positive effect of learning by doing). In this case, the optimal policy which leads the decentralized economy to follow the optimal growth path is to tax capital; in contrast with the optimal subsidy policy in an economy without pollution. When an abatement technology is introduced, the optimal solution can lead the economy to unlimited growth, whatever the form of the utility function. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

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Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental & Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 6 (1995)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 279-300

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:6:y:1995:i:3:p:279-300
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  20. Smith, Vernon L, 1972. "Dynamics of Waste Accumulation: Disposal Versus Recycling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 600-616, November.
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