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Income, Environmental Disamenity, and Toxic Releases

13 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2006  

Tisha Nakao Emerson

Baylor University - Department of Economics

Linwood Hagan Pendleton

University of Wyoming


The literature argues that income growth leads to increased demand for environmental quality and thus reduction in pollution. Using a utility theoretic model, we hypothesize that the income-pollution relationship should depend on the level of disamenity of the pollutant. We proxy for disamenity using the toxicity of releases. For counties in the United States, the functional relationship between income and releases depends on the level of disamenity: the form is more concave for more toxic releases. We find that environmental improvements occur at lower levels of per capita income for more toxic pollutants. (JEL Q25, Q28, O13)

Suggested Citation

Nakao Emerson, Tisha and Pendleton, Linwood Hagan, Income, Environmental Disamenity, and Toxic Releases. Economic Inquiry, Vol. 42, Issue 1, pp. 166-178, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=906214

Tisha Nakao Emerson (Contact Author)

Baylor University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 98003
Waco, TX 76798-8003
United States
254-710-4180 (Phone)
254-710-6142 (Fax)

Linwood Pendleton

University of Wyoming ( email )

Box 3434 University Station
Laramie, WY 82071
United States

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