The Challenge of Addressing Consumption Pollutants with Fiscal Policy
We develop a theoretical model that elucidates the relationship between the quality of governance, composition of government spending and pollution as a by-product of the consumption process. We find that a shift in government spending towards goods that alleviate market failure increases income, which raises consumption pollution, but also increases environmental regulations, which decreases consumption pollution. Conditional on the government adopting a democratic regime, the effect through environmental regulations outweigh the effect through income leading to lower consumption pollution. We estimate an empirical model and find that the results support our theoretical predictions.
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