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Preserving or escaping? On the welfare effects of environmental self-protective choices

Antoci, Angelo and Borghesi, Simone (2012) Preserving or escaping? On the welfare effects of environmental self-protective choices. The Journal of Socio-Economics, Vol. 41 (2), p. 248-254. eISSN 1879-1239. Article.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2011.12.012


In modern societies individuals often try to alleviate their personal damages from environmental degradation by increasing their consumption of private goods. Although this “self-protective” behavior is very frequent in industrial economies, insufficient attention has been paid to its economic and environmental consequences. In this paper we show that such a behavior can make everyone worse-off. For this purpose, using as paradigmatic case a two-islands evolutionary model, we prove analytically that environmental “self-protection” may trap the system into an undesirable (Pareto-dominated) situation and discuss a few real-life examples in which this mechanism may have actually occurred. Although the proposed model is deliberately extremely simple, it may provide some interesting insights on an aspect that has been mainly ignored in the literature so far.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:8667
Uncontrolled Keywords:Self-protective choices, defensive expenditures, environmental degradation, negative externalities, economic growth
Subjects:Area 13 - Scienze economiche e statistiche > SECS-S/06 Metodi matematici dell'economia e delle scienze attuariali e finanziarie
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01-a Nuovi Dipartimenti dal 2012 > Scienze economiche e aziendali
Deposited On:21 Feb 2013 13:14

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