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Economic Growth and Environmental Degradation in Canada

In: The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress 2001: The Longest Decade: Canada in the 1990s

  • Kathleen Day

    (Associate Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa)

  • R. Quentin Grafton

    (Director, Institute of the Environment and Associate Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa)

In this chapter, Kathleen Day and R. Quentin Grafton explore the relationship between the economy and the environment. One approach sees economic growth leading to environmental degradation by imposing stresses on limited natural resources and ecosystems and by increasing emissions of pollutants. A second perspective argues the opposite relationship holds. Economic growth, once a certain level is achieved, leads to a cleaner environment as the higher income shifts societal preferences toward a better quality of the environment and at the same time provides the resources to produce such an environment. In addition, it is argued that economic growth is increasingly service-based, decoupling pollution from economic activity. The authors examine the relationship between economic growth and environmental degradation in Canada. The implication of their findings is that economic growth by no means resolves environmental problems.

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This item is provided by Centre for the Study of Living Standards & The Institutute for Research on Public Policy in its series The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress with number v:1:y:2001:kdfqg.
Handle: RePEc:sls:repsls:v:1:y:2001:kdfqg
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  1. Anand, Sudhir & Kanbur, S. M. R., 1993. "Inequality and development A critique," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 19-43, June.
  2. Andrew Sharpe, 1999. "A Survey of Indicators of Economic and Social Well-being," CSLS Research Reports 99wb, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
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