Simone Borghesi () and
ECONOMIA E POLITICA INDUSTRIALE, 2007, vol. 2007/4, issue 4, 95-113
Private good, public bad: environmental self-protective choices in a model with strategic interaction - The environmental literature has always devoted much attention to the substitutability between natural capital with man-made capital, investigating whether and to what extent such a substitution process can continue over time. However, another important and related issue has been mainly ignored so far by the literature, namely, what are the possible effects of this substitution process on the agents’ welfare. To analyse this question, the present work examines an economic system with strategic interaction among agents who can make self-protective choices to defend themselves from environmental degradation. From the analysis it emerges that the individuals’ attempt to protect their personal well-being by replacing depleted natural resources with man-made private goods can generate vicious circles between economic growth and environmental degradation that may end up reducing the welfare of the whole community.
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