Inequality, Survival to Adulthood, and the Growth Drag of Pollution

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We theoretically investigate the interrelationship between economic inequality and the exposure to pollutants during the course of economic development. Environmental pollution adversely affects children’s probability to survive to adulthood, reduces thus parental expenditures on child quality and increases the number of births necessary to achieve a desired family size. Children’s exposure to environmental pollution is determined by economic inequality because wealthier households live in cleaner areas which shapes then differences in the level of human capital per child. This is the key mechanism through which environmental conditions impose a growth drag on the economy. Our theory provides a candidate explanation for: (i) The hump-shaped evolution of child mortality ratios between cleaner and more polluted areas during the course of economic development, and (ii) the observed positive correlation between inequality and the concentration of pollutants at the local level.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOxford Economic Papers
Early online date23 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 May 2019

Cite this

Inequality, Survival to Adulthood, and the Growth Drag of Pollution. / Schaefer, Andreas.

In: Oxford Economic Papers, 23.05.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{1f01c80c99a947c6878b86634501be80,
title = "Inequality, Survival to Adulthood, and the Growth Drag of Pollution",
abstract = "We theoretically investigate the interrelationship between economic inequality and the exposure to pollutants during the course of economic development. Environmental pollution adversely affects children’s probability to survive to adulthood, reduces thus parental expenditures on child quality and increases the number of births necessary to achieve a desired family size. Children’s exposure to environmental pollution is determined by economic inequality because wealthier households live in cleaner areas which shapes then differences in the level of human capital per child. This is the key mechanism through which environmental conditions impose a growth drag on the economy. Our theory provides a candidate explanation for: (i) The hump-shaped evolution of child mortality ratios between cleaner and more polluted areas during the course of economic development, and (ii) the observed positive correlation between inequality and the concentration of pollutants at the local level.",
author = "Andreas Schaefer",
year = "2019",
month = "5",
day = "23",
doi = "10.1093/oep/gpz035",
language = "English",
journal = "Oxford Economic Papers",
issn = "1464-3812",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Inequality, Survival to Adulthood, and the Growth Drag of Pollution

AU - Schaefer, Andreas

PY - 2019/5/23

Y1 - 2019/5/23

N2 - We theoretically investigate the interrelationship between economic inequality and the exposure to pollutants during the course of economic development. Environmental pollution adversely affects children’s probability to survive to adulthood, reduces thus parental expenditures on child quality and increases the number of births necessary to achieve a desired family size. Children’s exposure to environmental pollution is determined by economic inequality because wealthier households live in cleaner areas which shapes then differences in the level of human capital per child. This is the key mechanism through which environmental conditions impose a growth drag on the economy. Our theory provides a candidate explanation for: (i) The hump-shaped evolution of child mortality ratios between cleaner and more polluted areas during the course of economic development, and (ii) the observed positive correlation between inequality and the concentration of pollutants at the local level.

AB - We theoretically investigate the interrelationship between economic inequality and the exposure to pollutants during the course of economic development. Environmental pollution adversely affects children’s probability to survive to adulthood, reduces thus parental expenditures on child quality and increases the number of births necessary to achieve a desired family size. Children’s exposure to environmental pollution is determined by economic inequality because wealthier households live in cleaner areas which shapes then differences in the level of human capital per child. This is the key mechanism through which environmental conditions impose a growth drag on the economy. Our theory provides a candidate explanation for: (i) The hump-shaped evolution of child mortality ratios between cleaner and more polluted areas during the course of economic development, and (ii) the observed positive correlation between inequality and the concentration of pollutants at the local level.

U2 - 10.1093/oep/gpz035

DO - 10.1093/oep/gpz035

M3 - Article

JO - Oxford Economic Papers

JF - Oxford Economic Papers

SN - 1464-3812

ER -