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Environmental Policy and the Macroeconomy under Shallow-Lake Dynamics

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  • Ben J. Heijdra
  • Pim Heijnen

Abstract

We study the environmental and economic effects of public abatement in the presence of multiple stable steady-state ecological equilibria. Under shallow-lake dynamics (SLD), the isocline for the stock of pollution features two stable branches, a good and a bad one. Assuming that the ecology is initially located on the upper (bad) branch of the isocline, the ecological equilibrium is hysteretic and a suitably designed temporary abatement policy can be used to steer the environment from the bad to the good equilibrium. In all models considered in this paper, a "cold turkey" abatement policy is optimal, i.e. the largest feasible shock should be administered for the shortest possible amount of time. Depending on the particular model used to characterize the economic system, there is a capital feedback effect that either helps or hinders the attainment of a successful abatement policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Ben J. Heijdra & Pim Heijnen, 2009. "Environmental Policy and the Macroeconomy under Shallow-Lake Dynamics," CESifo Working Paper Series 2859, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2859
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp2859.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fabien Prieur, 2009. "The environmental Kuznets curve in a world of irreversibility," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 40(1), pages 57-90, July.
    2. Heijnen, P. & Wagener, F.O.O., 2008. "Managing the environment and the economy in the presence of hysteresis and irreversibility," CeNDEF Working Papers 08-13, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
    3. Karl-Göran Mäler & Anastasios Xepapadeas & Aart de Zeeuw, 2003. "The Economics of Shallow Lakes," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 26(4), pages 603-624, December.
    4. Ranjan, Ram & Shortle, James, 2007. "The environmental Kuznets curve when the environment exhibits hysteresis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 204-215, October.
    5. Wirl, Franz, 2004. "Sustainable growth, renewable resources and pollution: Thresholds and cycles," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1149-1157, March.
    6. Judd, Kenneth L., 1999. "Optimal taxation and spending in general competitive growth models," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 1-26, January.
    7. A. Bovenberg & Ben Heijdra, 2002. "Environmental Abatement and Intergenerational Distribution," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(1), pages 45-84, September.
    8. W.A. Brock & D. Starrett, 2003. "Managing Systems with Non-convex Positive Feedback," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 26(4), pages 575-602, December.
    9. Muradian, Roldan, 2001. "Ecological thresholds: a survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 7-24, July.
    10. Bovenberg, A. Lans & Heijdra, Ben J., 1998. "Environmental tax policy and intergenerational distribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 1-24, January.
    11. Heijdra, Ben J., 2017. "Foundations of Modern Macroeconomics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 3, number 9780198784135.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Crépin, Anne-Sophie & Norberg, Jon & Mäler, Karl-Göran, 2011. "Coupled economic-ecological systems with slow and fast dynamics -- Modelling and analysis method," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(8), pages 1448-1458, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Shallow-lake dynamics; bifurcation; environmental policy; abatement; overlapping generations;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General

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