Green Cities? Urbanization, Trade and the Environment

37 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2015

See all articles by Rainald Borck

Rainald Borck

Humboldt University of Berlin - Faculty of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Michael Pflüger

University of Passau; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Abstract

This paper establishes a simple theoretical framework which comprises key forces that shape the structure and interrelation of cities to study the interdependencies between urban evolution and the environment. We focus on the potential of the unfettered market forces to economize on emissions. A key finding is that these forces alone may suffice to generate an urban Environmental Kuznets Curve. In particular, reducing trade costs increases per capita incomes and generates a U-shaped evolution of emissions in the process of agglomeration and redispersion. Another key result is that agglomeration per se is typically not a boon for the environment, as total emissions in the total city system are likely to rise.

Keywords: city structure, city systems, environmental pollution, global warming, Environmental Kuznets Curve, trade costs, commuting costs, housing

JEL Classification: F18, Q50, R11, R12

Suggested Citation

Borck, Rainald and Pflüger, Michael, Green Cities? Urbanization, Trade and the Environment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9104. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2655052

Rainald Borck (Contact Author)

Humboldt University of Berlin - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Spandauer Strasse 1
D-10178 Berlin
Germany
49-30-2093-5676 (Phone)
49-30-2093-5697 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Michael Pflüger

University of Passau ( email )

Innstrasse 27
Passau, 94032
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Mohrenstrasse 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
93
Abstract Views
497
rank
286,596
PlumX Metrics