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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
Date of revision:
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
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  1. Xavier Pautrel, 2012. "Pollution, Private Investment in Healthcare, and Environmental Policy," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(2), pages 334-357, 06.
  2. Raouf Boucekkine & Bity Diene & Theophile Azomahou, 2007. "A closer look at the relationship between life expectancy and economic growth," Working Papers 2007_24, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  3. Fabio Mariani & Agustin Pérez-Barahona & Natacha Raffin, 2008. "Life expectancy and the environment," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne v08048, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Chakraborty, Shankha, 2004. "Endogenous lifetime and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 119-137, May.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  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. Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2008. "Environmental Quality, Life Expectancy, and Sustainable Economic Growth," Discussion Papers in Economics 08/19, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  12. Theodore Palivos & Dimitrios varvarigos, 2010. "Pollution Abatement as a Source of Stabilisation and Long-Run Growth," Discussion Paper Series 2010_13, Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, revised Sep 2010.
  13. Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2010. "On the Joint Dynamics of Pollution and Capital Accumulation," Discussion Papers in Economics 11/05, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  14. 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.
  15. Pautrel, Xavier, 2009. "Pollution and life expectancy: How environmental policy can promote growth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 1040-1051, February.
  16. 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.
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