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Should Green Governments Give Priority to Environmental Policies over Growth-Enhancing Policies?

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  • George Economides
  • Apostolis Philippopoulos

Abstract

This paper studies the properties of second-best optimal policy in a standard general equilibrium model of growth augmented with renewable natural resources. The government chooses its policy instruments (the income tax rate and the allocation of collected tax revenues between public investment and environmental policy) to solve a Ramsey-type policy problem. The main result is that, the more the citizens care about the environment, the more growth-enhancing policies the government finds it optimal to choose in the long run. This is because when citizens care about the environment, this requires tax revenues for environmental policy and can be only achieved by large tax bases and high growth. Thus, only growing economies can afford to care about the environment. This is the case even if pollution occurs as a by-product of output produced.

Suggested Citation

  • George Economides & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2005. "Should Green Governments Give Priority to Environmental Policies over Growth-Enhancing Policies?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1433, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1433
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp1433.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bovenberg, A Lans & Smulders, Sjak A, 1996. "Transitional Impacts of Environmental Policy in an Endogenous Growth Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(4), pages 861-893, November.
    2. John, A & Pecchenino, R, 1994. "An Overlapping Generations Model of Growth and the Environment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1393-1410, November.
    3. Park, Hyun & Philippopoulos, Apostolis, 2004. "Indeterminacy and fiscal policies in a growing economy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 645-660, January.
    4. Ligthart, Jenny E. & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1994. "Pollution, the cost of public funds and endogenous growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 339-349, December.
    5. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1993. "Transitional Dynamics in Two-Sector Models of Endogenous Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 739-773.
    6. Lans Bovenberg, A. & Smulders, Sjak, 1995. "Environmental quality and pollution-augmenting technological change in a two-sector endogenous growth model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 369-391, July.
    7. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 103-126, October.
    8. Gene M. Grossman & Alan B. Krueger, 1995. "Economic Growth and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 353-377.
    9. Hirtle, Beverly, 2009. "Credit derivatives and bank credit supply," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 125-150, April.
    10. Frederick Ploeg & Cees Withagen, 1991. "Pollution control and the Ramsey problem," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 1(2), pages 215-236, June.
    11. Bovenberg, A.L. & Smulders, J.A., 1993. "Environmental quality and pollution-saving technological change in a two-sector endogenous growth model," Discussion Paper 1993-21, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    12. Benhabib, Jess & Farmer, Roger E.A., 1999. "Indeterminacy and sunspots in macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 387-448 Elsevier.
    13. Kolstad, Charles D. & Krautkraemer, Jeffrey A., 1993. "Natural resource use and the environment," Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics,in: A. V. Kneese† & J. L. Sweeney (ed.), Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1219-1265 Elsevier.
    14. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli, 2001. "Endogenous Policy Choice: The Case of Pollution and Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(2), pages 369-405, July.
    15. George Economides & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2003. "Are Nash Tax Rates too Low or Too High? The Role of Endogenous Growth in Models with Public Goods," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 37-53, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aditya Goenka & Saqib Jafarey & William Pouliot, 2012. "Pollution, Mortality and Optimal Environmental Policy," Discussion Papers 12-05, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    2. Martin Gonzalez Eiras & Dirk Niepelt, 2004. "Sustaining Social Security," Working Papers 72, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jun 2004.

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    Keywords

    second-best policy; natural resources; economic growth;

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