Antoci, Angelo and Borghesi, Simone (2010) Environmental degradation, self-protection choices and coordination failures in a North–South evolutionary model. Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Vol. 5 (1), p. 89-107. eISSN 1860-7128. Article.
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Environmental degradation may lead agents to increase their work effort to replace the consumption of depleted free access environmental goods with that of private substitute goods. The rise in the activity level that follows may further deplete the environment, which in turn increases the production and consumption of substitute goods. Using a North–South evolutionary model, we show that the existence of a coordination failure among interacting heterogeneous agents may lead the economy towards Pareto-dominated attracting stationary states where individuals work and produce “too much” (i.e. more than socially optimal). Finally, we analyse possible welfare effects of transferring the environmental impact of Northern production to the South and show that such a policy may decrease welfare in both hemispheres.
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