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Optimal Health and Environmental Policies in a Pollution-Growth Nexus

Min Wang, Jinhua Zhao () and Joydeep Bhattacharya ()

Staff General Research Papers Archive from Iowa State University, Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper shows how policies aimed at insuring health risks and those intended to improve the environment are (and should be) deeply intertwined. In the model economy, inspired by recent Chinese experience, pollution raises the likelihood of poor health in the future prompting agents to self insure against anticipated, rising medical expenses. The increased saving generates more capital while capital use by firms generates more pollution. Along the transition, sucha pollution-growth nexus may be attractive from a capital-accumulation perspective; however, rising pollution, via the health channel, definitely hurts welfare. Availability of private health insurance to top up pay-as-you-go coverage of medical bills together with a Pigouvian tax on emissions can replicate the first best.

Keywords: pollution; health; overlapping generations model; saving (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E2 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dge, nep-env, nep-hea, nep-mac, nep-res and nep-tra
Date: 2013-03-08
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Forthcoming in Journal of Environmental Economics and Management

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Journal Article: Optimal health and environmental policies in a pollution-growth nexus (2015) Downloads
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