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Pollution, Mortality and Optimal Environmental Policy

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  • Aditya Goenka
  • Saqib Jafarey
  • William Pouliot

Abstract

We study an overlapping generations economy in which environmental degradation results from economic activity and affects agents' uncertain lifetimes. Life expectancy depends positively on economic activity and negatively on the stock of pollution. This can make the growth-survival relationship convex over some region and lead to two non-trivial steady states, with one is a poverty trap. Uniform abatement taxes can cause the poverty trap to widen while increasing incomes at the high steady state. We also show that the optimal second-best abatement tax is non-homogeneous and increasing in the capital stock, and exhibits a variety of dynamic possibilities: non-existence of a steady state equilibrium, multiplicity of steady state equilibria and optimal policy cycles around some steady states.

Suggested Citation

  • Aditya Goenka & Saqib Jafarey & William Pouliot, 2012. "Pollution, Mortality and Optimal Environmental Policy," Discussion Papers 12-05, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:12-05
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    Cited by:

    1. Natacha Raffin & Thomas Seegmuller, 2017. "The Cost of Pollution on Longevity, Welfare and Economic Stability," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 68(3), pages 683-704, November.
    2. Goenka, A. & Jafarey, S. & Pouliot, W., 2012. "Pollution, mortality and optimal environmental policy," Working Papers 12/07, Department of Economics, City University London.
    3. Nguyen Thang Dao & Kerstin Burghaus & Ottmar Edenhofer, 2017. "Self-Enforcing Intergenerational Social Contracts for Pareto Improving Pollution Mitigation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 68(1), pages 129-173, September.
    4. Wang, Min & Zhao, Jinhua & Bhattacharya, Joydeep, 2015. "Optimal health and environmental policies in a pollution-growth nexus," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 160-179.
    5. Andersen, Torben M. & Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Liu, Pan, 2020. "Resolving intergenerational conflict over the environment under the Pareto criterion," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 100(C).
    6. Goenka, Aditya & Jafarey, Saqib & Pouliot, William, 2020. "Pollution, mortality and time consistent abatement taxes," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 1-15.
    7. Andersen, Torben M. & Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Liu, Pan, 2018. "A way to resolve intergenerational conflict over the environment under the Pareto criterion using green bonds," ISU General Staff Papers 201808240700001070, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    8. Nguyen Than Dao & Ottmar Edenhofer, 2014. "On the Fiscal Strategies of Escaping Poverty-Environment Traps (and) Towards Sustainable Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 4865, CESifo.
    9. Lucas Bretschger & Alexandra Vinogradova, 2017. "Human Development at Risk: Economic Growth with Pollution-Induced Health Shocks," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 66(3), pages 481-495, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Overlapping generations model; poverty traps; non-convexities; multiple steady states; pollution; optimal environmental policy; optimal abatement tax;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O23 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Development
    • O44 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Environment and Growth

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