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Pollution, mortality and optimal environmental policy

  • Goenka, A.
  • Jafarey, S.
  • Pouliot, W.

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 a poverty trap. Uniform abatement taxes can cause the poverty trap to widen while increasing incomes at the high steady state. We also study the properties and dynamics of an optimal second-best abatement tax. It is non-homogeneous and increasing in the capital stock, and leads to a variety of dynamic possibilities, including non-existence and multiplicity of steady states, and cycles around some of the steady states, where there were none under exogenous taxes. Thus, optimal taxes can be an independent source of non-linearities.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, City University London in its series Working Papers with number 12/07.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cty:dpaper:12/07
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Social Sciences Building, City University London, Whiskin Street, London, EC1R 0JD, United Kingdom,
Phone: +44 (0)20 7040 8500
Web page: http://www.city.ac.uk

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  1. Raouf, BOUCEKKINE & Bity, DIENE & Théophile, AZOMAHOU, 2007. "A closer look at the relationship between life expectancy and economic growth," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2007043, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  2. Pierre-André Jouvet & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2007. "Longevity and environmental quality in an OLG model," EconomiX Working Papers 2007-19, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  3. Mariani, Fabio & Pérez-Barahona, Agustín & Raffin, Natacha, 2009. "Life Expectancy and the Environment," IZA Discussion Papers 4564, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2010. "On the Joint Dynamics of Pollution and Capital Accumulation," Discussion Papers in Economics 11/05, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  5. 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.
  6. Theodore Palivos & Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2010. "Pollution Abatement as a Source of Stabilisation and Long-Run Growth," Discussion Papers in Economics 11/04, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Oct 2010.
  7. Pautrel, Xavier, 2009. "Pollution and life expectancy: How environmental policy can promote growth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 1040-1051, February.
  8. Chakraborty, Shankha, 2004. "Endogenous lifetime and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 119-137, May.
  9. Xavier Pautrel, 2012. "Pollution, Private Investment in Healthcare, and Environmental Policy," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(2), pages 334-357, 06.
  10. Georgios Georgiadis & José Pineda & Francisco Rodríguez, 2010. "Has the Preston Curve Broken Down?," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-32, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  11. Koop, Gary & Tole, Lise, 2004. "Measuring the health effects of air pollution: to what extent can we really say that people are dying from bad air?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 30-54, January.
  12. 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.
  13. George Economides & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2008. "Growth enhancing policy is the means to sustain the environment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(1), pages 207-219, January.
  14. Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2008. "Environmental Quality, Life Expectancy, and Sustainable Economic Growth," Discussion Papers in Economics 08/19, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  15. Roger D. Peng & Francesca Dominici & Thomas A. Louis, 2006. "Model choice in time series studies of air pollution and mortality," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 169(2), pages 179-203.
  16. Evans, Mary F. & Smith, V. Kerry, 2005. "Do new health conditions support mortality-air pollution effects?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 496-518, November.
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