IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Pollution and Growth: What Do We Know?

Listed author(s):
  • Grossman, Gene

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 848.

in new window

Date of creation: Oct 1993
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:848
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.

Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820

Order Information: Email:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:848. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.