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Is inequality harmful for the environment in a growing economy?

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  • Hubert Kempf

    () (ENS Cachan - École normale supérieure - Cachan, Centre de recherche de la Banque de France - Banque de France, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Stéphane Rossignol

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, LED - Laboratoire d'Economie Dionysien - UP8 - Université Paris 8, Vincennes-Saint-Denis)

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the relationship between inequality and the environment in a growing economy from a political economy perspective. We consider an endogenous growth economy, where growth generates pollution and a deterioration of the environment. Public expenditures may either be devoted to supporting growth or abating pollution. The decision over the public programs is done in a direct democracy, with simple majority rule. We prove that the median voter is decisive and show that inequality is harmful for the environment: the poorer the median voter relative to the average individual, the less she will tax and devote resources to the environment, preferring to support growth.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Hubert Kempf & Stéphane Rossignol, 2007. "Is inequality harmful for the environment in a growing economy?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00991578, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:hal-00991578
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-univ-paris8.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00991578
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. van Marrewijk, Charles & van der Ploeg, Federick & Verbeek, Jos, 1993. "Is growth bad for the environment? Pollution, abatement, and endogenous growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1151, The World Bank.
    2. Hubert Kempf & Stéphane Rossignol, 2005. "Growth, Inequality, and Integration: A Political Economy Analysis," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 7(5), pages 709-739, December.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
    4. Barro, Robert J, 1990. "Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 103-126, October.
    5. Hirtle, Beverly, 2009. "Credit derivatives and bank credit supply," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 125-150, April.
    6. Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
    7. Kahn, Matthew E & Matsusaka, John G, 1997. "Demand for Environmental Goods: Evidence from Voting Patterns on California Initiatives," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(1), pages 137-173, April.
    8. Andreoni, James & Levinson, Arik, 2001. "The simple analytics of the environmental Kuznets curve," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 269-286, May.
    9. Earnhart, Dietrich, 1997. "Enforcement of Environmental Protection Laws under Communism and Democracy," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(2), pages 377-402, October.
    10. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-187, June.
    11. Marsiliani, L. & Renstrom, T.I., 2000. "Inequality, Environmental Protection and Growth," Discussion Paper 2000-34, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    12. Fiaschi, Davide, 1999. "Growth and inequality in an endogenous fiscal policy model with taxes on labor and capital," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 727-746, November.
    13. Torras, Mariano & Boyce, James K., 1998. "Income, inequality, and pollution: a reassessment of the environmental Kuznets Curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 147-160, May.
    14. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
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    17. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1997. "Politico-economic equilibrium and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 243-272, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre-André Jouvet & Philippe Michel & Pierre Pestieau, 2008. "Public and private environmental spending: a political economy approach," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 9(3), pages 177-191, September.
    2. Vona, Francesco & Patriarca, Fabrizio, 2011. "Income inequality and the development of environmental technologies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 2201-2213, September.
    3. Francesco Vona & Francesco Nicolli, 2013. "Energy market liberalisation and renewable energy policies in OECD countries," Working Papers hal-00973070, HAL.
    4. Nguyen-Van, Phu & Pham, Thi Kim Cuong, 2013. "Endogenous fiscal policies, environmental quality, and status-seeking behavior," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 32-40.
    5. Kempf, Hubert & Rossignol, Stéphane, 2013. "National politics and international agreements," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 93-105.
    6. Can Askan Mavi, 2016. "Uncertain Catastrophic Events : Another Source of Environmental Traps ?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01275174, HAL.
    7. Francesco Nicolli & Francesco Vona, 2012. "The evolution of renewable energy policy in OECD countries: aggregate indicators and determinants," Sciences Po publications 2012-13, Sciences Po.
    8. Vincent Anesi & Philippe De Donder, 2011. "Secondary issues and party politics: an application to environmental policy," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 36(3), pages 519-546, April.
    9. Can Askan Mavi, 2016. "Uncertain Catastrophic Events : Another Source of Environmental Traps ?," Working Papers halshs-01275174, HAL.
    10. Éloi Laurent, 2009. "Écologie et inégalités," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(2), pages 33-57.
    11. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/f6h8764enu2lskk9p544jc8op is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Kirill Borissov & Thierry Brechet & Stephane Lambrecht, 2012. "Environmental maintenance in a dynamic model with heterogenous agents," CEEES Paper Series CE3S-02/12, European University at St. Petersburg, Department of Economics.
    13. Andrea Mantovani & Ornella Tarola & Cecilia Vergari, 2014. "Hedonic quality, social norms, and environmental campaigns," Working Papers 2014/36, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    14. Oueslati, Walid, 2015. "Growth and welfare effects of environmental tax reform and public spending policy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-13.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    croissance;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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