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Inequality and Environmental Protection

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  • James Boyce

Abstract

Social and economic inequalities can influence both the distribution of the costs and benefits from environmental degradation and the extent of environmental protection. When those who benefit from environmentally degrading economic activities are powerful relative to those who bear the costs, environmental protection is generally weaker than when the reverse is true. This can lead to environmental inequalities along lines of class, race, ethnicity, gender, and age. At the same time, inequalities may affect the overall extent of environmental quality. There are good theoretical reasons to expect inequalities to reduce environmental protection and exacerbate environmental degradation. The available empirical evidence generally is consistent with this expectation.

Suggested Citation

  • James Boyce, 2003. "Inequality and Environmental Protection," Working Papers wp52, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  • Handle: RePEc:uma:periwp:wp52
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Vona, Francesco & Patriarca, Fabrizio, 2011. "Income inequality and the development of environmental technologies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 2201-2213, September.
    2. Sacchidananda Mukherjee & Debashis Chakraborty, 2007. "Environment, Human Development and Economic Growth after Liberalisation: An Analysis of Indian States," Working Papers 2007-016, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
    3. Binder, Seth & Neumayer, Eric, 2005. "Environmental pressure group strength and air pollution: An empirical analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 527-538, December.
    4. Berthe, Alexandre & Elie, Luc, 2015. "Mechanisms explaining the impact of economic inequality on environmental deterioration," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 191-200.
    5. Mukherjee, Sacchidananda & Chakraborty, Debashis, 2009. "Is there any relationship between Environmental Quality Index, Human Development Index and Economic Growth? Evidences from Indian States," MPRA Paper 17207, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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