Inequality and Environmental Protection

PERI Working Paper No. 52

35 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2003

See all articles by James K. Boyce

James K. Boyce

University of Massachusetts at Amherst - College of Social and Behavioral Sciences - Department of Economics

Date Written: 2003

Abstract

Social and economic inequalities can influence both the distribution of the costs and benefits from environmental degradation and the extent of environmental protection. When those who benefit from environmentally degrading economic activities are powerful relative to those who bear the costs, environmental protection is generally weaker than when the reverse is true. This can lead to environmental inequalities along lines of class, race, ethnicity, gender, and age. At the same time, inequalities may affect the overall extent of environmental quality. There are good theoretical reasons to expect inequalities to reduce environmental protection and exacerbate environmental degradation. The available empirical evidence generally is consistent with this expectation.

Suggested Citation

Boyce, James K., Inequality and Environmental Protection (2003). PERI Working Paper No. 52. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=376921 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.376921

James K. Boyce (Contact Author)

University of Massachusetts at Amherst - College of Social and Behavioral Sciences - Department of Economics ( email )

10th Floor Thompson Floor
Amherst, MA 01003
United States
413-545-0915 (Phone)

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