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The economics of green consumption, cultural transmission and sustainable technological change

Emeline Bezin

Journal of Economic Theory, 2019, vol. 181, issue C, 497-546

Abstract: A model which formalizes the interplay between green consumer culture and sustainable technology is used to revisit the trade-off between economic growth and environmental preservation. The theory includes (i) green preferences formed through cultural transmission which involves rational socialization actions, (ii) innovation endogenously directed to sustainable or unsustainable sectors depending on culture through market size effects. The model captures an important feature of sustainable innovation processes which is the existence of path dependency. The approach allows to examine implications for both market-based instruments (i.e., environmental taxes) and non-monetary interventions (i.e., environmental education). The two types of policies are either complements or substitutes depending on the substitutability between clean and dirty goods. Finally, an important disregarded issue is examined: the political sustainability of environmental taxes.

Keywords: Green consumption; Cultural transmission; Directed technological change; Environmental taxes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Z13 D11 H41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:181:y:2019:i:c:p:497-546