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The dynamics of environmental politics and values

Besley, Timothy and Persson, Torsten (2019) The dynamics of environmental politics and values. Journal of the European Economic Association, 17 (4). pp. 993-1024. ISSN 1542-4766

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Identification Number: 10.1093/jeea/jvz040

Abstract

This paper develops a framework to study environmentalism as a cultural phenomenon, namely as reflecting a process of social identification with certain values. The model is used to explain how the shares of environmentalists and materialists in society can coevolve with taxes on emissions to protect society against damages caused by environmental degradation. These policies are determined by electoral competition. However, even though politicians internalize the welfare of those currently alive and pick Utilitarian optimal policies, the dynamic equilibrium paths of policies and evolving values may not converge to the steady state with the highest level of long-run welfare.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This paper is based on Besley's 2017 FBBVA Lecture. Besley gratefully acknowledges the travel support from the BBVA Foundation, which allowed him to present the research at the ASSA meetings in Chicago and at a public lecture at FBBVA headquarters in Madrid. The authors are grateful for input from the audiences and for detailed and perceptive comments on an earlier draft by Bård Harstad and Linus Mattauch. The authors are also grateful to Sacha Dray for research assistance. We acknowledge financial support from the ERC and the Swedish Research Council. Copyright © 2019 Oxford University Press
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
JEL classification: H - Public Economics > H1 - Structure and Scope of Government > H11 - Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
H - Public Economics > H2 - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue > H23 - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q58 - Government Policy
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2019 11:33
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2019 23:08
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/101008

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