Title: Endowments, preferences, technologies and abatement: growth-environment microfoundations

Authors: Alexander Pfaff, Shubham Chaudhuri, Howard L.M. Nye

Addresses: 420 W. 118th Street, Room 1306; New York, NY 10027, USA. ' 420 W. 118th Street, Room 1306; New York, NY 10027, USA. ' University of Michigan, 2215 Angell Hall, Ann Arbor MI 1003, USA

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.

Keywords: environment; environmental pollution; economic development; economic growth; abatement; consumption; pollution reduction; environmental quality; environmental Kuznets curve; households.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGENVI.2004.006051

International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, 2004 Vol.4 No.4, pp.209 - 228

Published online: 27 Jan 2005 *

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