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Endowments, preferences, technologies and abatement: growth-environment microfoundations
by Alexander Pfaff, Shubham Chaudhuri, Howard L.M. Nye
International Journal of Global Environmental Issues (IJGENVI), Vol. 4, No. 4, 2004

 

Abstract: Will economic growth inevitably degrade the environment, throughout development? We present a household-level framework emphasising the trade-off between consumption that causes pollution and pollution-reducing abatement. Our model provides a simple explanation for upward-turning, non-monotonic paths of environmental quality during economic growth. Its innovation yields sufficient conditions that simultaneously address preferences and technologies. With standard preferences, an asymmetric endowment (i.e., at zero income, consumption is also zero but environmental quality is positive) leads low-income households not to abate, and further this condition is sufficient for an environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) for a wide range of abatement technologies. Without such an endowment, however, even strong economies of scale in abatement are, on their own, insufficient for an EKC.

Online publication date: Thu, 27-Jan-2005

 

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