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The dynamics of environmental concern and the evolution of pollution

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  • Emeline Bezin

Abstract

We develop an overlapping generations model within which the evolution of pollution and the formation of environmental concern are endogenous. On the one hand, people heterogeneously concerned with environmental issues contribute to pollution which is a public bad. On the other hand, the transmission of environmental attitudes is the result of some economic choice which is affected by pollution. The model predicts that the long run proportion of environmentally concerned individuals will always be high. Though, depending on the pollution-generating technology, the transition from a low-environmentally concerned society to a high-environmentally concerned one is accompanied by two different outcomes regarding the long run level of pollution. If the technology is “clean”, there is a stable steady state level of pollution. However, if it is “dirty”, pollution experiences an unlimited growth which eventually causes an environmental disaster. This result captures some stylized facts regarding the joint evolution of environmental concern and pollution in developing nations. In the latter case, we show that intergenerational transfers from the older generation to the young working one restore the possibility to reach a stationary level of pollution.

Suggested Citation

  • Emeline Bezin, 2013. "The dynamics of environmental concern and the evolution of pollution," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 13-09, INRAE UMR SMART-LERECO.
  • Handle: RePEc:rae:wpaper:201309
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bezin, Emeline, 2015. "A cultural model of private provision and the environment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 109-124.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Overlapping generations; pollution; environmental concern; cultural transmission; environmental policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts

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