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In this model, well-being depends on leisure, on an environmental renewable resource, and on a non-storable output, which can substitute for the environmental resource or can satisfy needs different from those satisfied by the resource. Individuals have free access to the environmental resource, which is subject to negative externalities: that is, is depleted by the production and consumption of the output. Individuals react to negative externalities by increasing their labour supply in order to produce substitutes for the diminishing resource. The increase in production and consumption that ensues generates further deterioration of the future quality or quantity of the free resource, thus giving rise to a self-reinforcing process. Multiple equilibria and ‘critical mass effects’ are consistent with the functioning of this economy and the resulting level of aggregate production may be higher than is socially desirable.
Poverty and environmental degradation or deforestation in developing countries have common determinants in underlying economic and institutional conditions that determine factor and product prices and incentives for migration and resource-depleting activities. These determinants include property rights failures (open access to forest lands) but also ‘government failures’ in the form of policies that indirectly promote resource use and retard poverty alleviation. A general equilibrium analysis identifies influences that such distortions have on poverty and environment. Using a numerical GE model, we consider likely effects of Philippine trade policy reforms of the 1990s on determinants of poverty, deforestation, and agricultural land expansion. These reforms marked a significant shift away from the import substitution industrialization strategy that characterized post-independence Philippine development. The results suggest that though reforms would increase poverty in the short term, in the longer run trade liberalization is poverty reducing. The environmental impact can also be positive, provided liberalized trade is combined with appropriate government action to address market failures.
This paper studies the effects of global warming in a descriptive model of endogenous growth. It is assumed that deviations from the pre-industrial global surface temperature negatively affect aggregate output. The paper studies the effects of varying the tax rate and of different abatement activities on the emission of greenhouse gases and on the growth rate. We study both effects for the long-run balanced growth rate and for the growth rate of GDP on the transition path. Using simulations, it is demonstrated that higher abatement activities may both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lead to higher growth. Further, the second-best abatement share is computed and the corresponding growth rate as well as the social optimum.
The relationship between per capita income and a number of pollution indicators has been found to display an inverted U-shaped or downward-sloping pattern. Corruption may affect this relationship in two distinct ways: by raising pollution at given income levels (direct effect) and by reducing per capita income (indirect effect). The total effect is ambiguous a priori. Using cross-section data for several indicators of pollution, the paper estimates the direct and the indirect effect of corruption on pollution. The indirect effect via income is positive or negative depending on the income level. If negative, the indirect effect is dominated by the positive direct effect. Overall, our measures of pollution are monotonically increasing in corruption. Because this relationship is particularly strong at low income levels, developing countries can considerably improve both their economic and environmental performance by reducing corruption.
Programs that provide incentives to induce conservation are often ineffective, leading farmers to abandon conservation once assistance is withdrawn. An alternative to incentives is to offer conservation technologies in conjunction with measures that enhance the short-term profitability of agriculture. Our results indicate that CARE, an international non-governmental organization, has used this approach successfully to promote resource conservation in the Ecuadorian Andes. In particular, the adoption of terraces was found to increase significantly when accompanied by alterations to the agricultural system, such as new crops, biological barriers, and improved agricultural production.