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Pollution and Growth: What Do We Know?

Author

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  • Grossman, Gene

Abstract

This paper reviews the empirical evidence on the relationship between economic output and various dimensions of air and water quality. Pollution may rise with growth, because an increased scale of economic activity means more emissions, ceteris paribus. Economic growth may be associated with a change in the composition of economic output, however, or in the techniques that are used in production. In the event, growth may lead to an alleviation of some forms of environmental problems. We find that not all measures of environmental quality have been similarly affected by increases in output. Along some dimensions, conditions have improved monotonically with increases in per capita output and the associated rises in standards of material living. For other pollutants there is an inverted-u shaped relationship with output. Finally, for some types of pollution there is no evidence at all that a turning point has yet been reached. The paper goes on to discuss the economic factors that determine the likely pattern for different types of pollutants and the implications of the findings for environmental policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Grossman, Gene, 1993. "Pollution and Growth: What Do We Know?," CEPR Discussion Papers 848, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:848
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Juan Antonio Duro & Jordi Teixidó-Figueras & Emilio Padilla, 2014. "The causal factors of international inequality in co2 emissions per capita: a regression-based inequality decomposition analysis," Working Papers 2014/20, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    2. repec:eee:enepol:v:113:y:2018:i:c:p:356-367 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jose Mendez & Lewis Gale, "undated". "A Note on the Empirical Relationship Between Trade, Growth and the Environment," Working Papers 2132836, Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.
    4. Stern, David I., 2004. "The Rise and Fall of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1419-1439, August.
    5. Giovanis, Eleftherios, 2014. "Relationship between Recycling Rate and Air Pollution in the State of Massachusetts," MPRA Paper 64403, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Giovanis, Eleftherios, 2013. "Environmental Kuznets curve: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 602-611.
    7. Peter Walkenhorst, 2004. "Domestic And International Environmental Impacts Of Agricultural Trade Liberalisation," International Trade 0401010, EconWPA.
    8. David I. Stern, 1999. "Attributing Changes in Global Sulfur Emissions," Working Papers in Ecological Economics 9902, Australian National University, Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, Ecological Economics Program.
    9. Andrea Baranzini & Francois Bourguignon, 1995. "Is sustainable growth optimal?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 2(2), pages 341-356, August.
    10. Partha Sen, 1994. "Environmental Policies And North-South Trade: A Selected Survey Of The Issues," Working papers 08, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    11. Balsalobre-Lorente, Daniel & Shahbaz, Muhammad & Roubaud, David & Farhani, Sahbi, 2018. "How economic growth, renewable electricity and natural resources contribute to CO2 emissions?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 356-367.
    12. Alba Distaso, 2005. "Local sustainable development and well-being/quality of life. An application of the capability approach at regional level," Quaderni DSEMS 25-2005, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Matematiche e Statistiche, Universita' di Foggia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic Development; Environment; Pollution;

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water

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