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Social Capital and National Environmental Performance: A Cross-sectional Analysis

  • R. Quentin Grafton

    ()

    (Australian National University, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government)

  • Stephen Knowles

    (University of Otago, Department of Economics)

Using cross-country data from a sample of low, middle and high-income countries, the paper explores the empirical relationships between national measures of social capital (civic and public), social divergence and social capacity upon various indicators of national environmental performance. The results suggest that the mere existence of social capital, as measured by trust, civic engagement and associational activity, is not a sufficient condition for improved national environmental outcomes. The findings indicate, one, how social capital is applied and whether it is directed to environmental stewardship is important in determining its national impact, two, the significance of public social capital and effective national environmental policies in decoupling the link between environmental degradation and economic activity and, three, the possible link between effective environmental policies and public social capital and higher levels of per capita income.

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File URL: http://een.anu.edu.au/download_files/een0206.pdf
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Paper provided by Australian National University, Economics and Environment Network in its series Economics and Environment Network Working Papers with number 0206.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:anu:eenwps:0206
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://een.anu.edu.au/

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  8. Easterly, William, 2000. "the middle class consensus and economic development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2346, The World Bank.
  9. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2001. "Social Capital and Community Governance," Working Papers 01-01-003, Santa Fe Institute.
  10. Torras, Mariano & Boyce, James K., 1998. "Income, inequality, and pollution: a reassessment of the environmental Kuznets Curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 147-160, May.
  11. Selden Thomas M. & Song Daqing, 1994. "Environmental Quality and Development: Is There a Kuznets Curve for Air Pollution Emissions?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 147-162, September.
  12. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Susmita Dasgupta & Benoit Laplante & Hua Wang & David Wheeler, 2002. "Confronting the Environmental Kuznets Curve," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 147-168, Winter.
  14. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
  15. Knowles, Stephen, 2001. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Empirical Relationship Reconsidered in the Light of Comparable Data," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  16. Annegrete Bruvoll & Hege Medin, 2000. "Factoring the environmental Kuznets curve Evidence from Norway," Discussion Papers 275, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  17. Anastasios Xepapadeas & Esma Amri, 1998. "Some Empirical Indications of the Relationship Between Environmental Quality and Economic Development," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(1), pages 93-106, January.
  18. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  19. R. Quentin Grafton & Stephen Knowles & P. Dorian Owen, 2002. "Social Divergence and Productivity: Making a Connection," The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress, in: Andrew Sharpe, Executive Director & France St-Hilaire, Vice-President , Research & Keith Banting, Di (ed.), The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress 2002: Towards a Social Understanding of Productivity, volume 2 Centre for the Study of Living Standards;The Institutute for Research on Public Policy.
  20. Lopez, Ramon & Mitra, Siddhartha, 2000. "Corruption, Pollution, and the Kuznets Environment Curve," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 137-150, September.
  21. Kathleen Day & R. Quentin Grafton, 2001. "Economic Growth and Environmental Degradation in Canada," The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress, in: Andrew Sharpe, Executive Director & France St-Hilaire, Vice-President , Research & Keith Banting, Di (ed.), The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress 2001: The Longest Decade: Canada in the 1990s, volume 1 Centre for the Study of Living Standards;The Institutute for Research on Public Policy.
  22. Scruggs, Lyle A., 1998. "Political and economic inequality and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 259-275, September.
  23. Clas Eriksson & Joakim Persson, 2003. "Economic Growth, Inequality, Democratization, and the Environment," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 25(1), pages 1-16, May.
  24. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
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