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Environmental Policies Benefit Economic Development: Implications of Economic Geography

Les politiques environnementales au service du développement économique: implications de la géographie économique

Seth Morgan, Alexander Pfaff and Julien Wolfersberger
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Seth Morgan: TNC - The Nature Conservancy - The Nature Conservancy
Alexander Pfaff: Sanford School of Public Policy - Duke University [Durham]

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Abstract: For over a century, starting with the work of Alfred Marshall (and including in resource economics), economic geography has emphasized the productivity of dense urban agglomerations. Yet little attention goes to one key policy implication of economic geography's core mechanisms: Environmental policies can aid economic development, per se—not hurting the economy to help the environment but advancing both objectives. We review mechanisms from economic geography which imply that environmental policies can deliver such win-wins: influences upon agglomeration of long-standing natural conditions, like usable bays, which long were perceived as fixed yet now are being shifted by global environmental quality; agglomeration's effects on other influential conditions, like urban environmental quality; and the effects of rural nvironmental quality on the flows to cities of people and environmental quality. Finally, we consider a geographic policy typology in asking why society leaves money on the table by failing to promote environmental policies despite the potential win-wins that we highlight.

Keywords: economic geography; development; environment; natural resources (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-ene, nep-env, nep-geo, nep-hpe, nep-res and nep-ure
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Published in Annual Review of Resource Economics, 2022, 14, ⟨10.1146/annurev-resource-111920-022804⟩

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DOI: 10.1146/annurev-resource-111920-022804

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