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Environmental externalities and immiserizing structural changes in an economy with heterogeneous agents

Antoci, Angelo and Russu, Paolo and Ticci, Elisa (2012) Environmental externalities and immiserizing structural changes in an economy with heterogeneous agents. Ecological Economics, Vol. 81 , p. 80-91. eISSN 1873-6106. Article.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.06.004


The way in which natural and physical capital are accumulated, distributed and harnessed underpins the functioning and sustainability of the productive system of each society as well as its social stratification. Significant changes in the interactions between natural and physical capital accumulation give rise to processes of structural change (SC) which affect not only sectoral composition of the productive system, but also social equity and environmental quality. We propose a taxonomy of different SCs on the basis of distributive, environmental and economic outcomes and we study a two-sector model with environmental externalities to identify under which conditions each SC can occur. Our model shows how the type of SC is shaped by the link between agents' heterogeneity in terms of productive asset endowment and their vulnerability to environmental degradation. In particular, we find that a SC associated with reduction in poverty and in environmental pressures can occur only if productivity of the physical capital-intensive sector increases but its rate of environmental impact remains relatively lower than that of the natural-capital intensive sector.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:8679
Uncontrolled Keywords:Structural change, environmental externalities, economic development, poverty alleviation
Subjects:Area 13 - Scienze economiche e statistiche > SECS-S/06 Metodi matematici dell'economia e delle scienze attuariali e finanziarie
Divisions:002 Altri enti e centri di ricerca del Nord Sardegna > CRENoS-Centro Ricerche Economiche Nord Sud, Università di Cagliari e Università di Sassari
001 Università di Sassari > 01-a Nuovi Dipartimenti dal 2012 > Scienze economiche e aziendali
Deposited On:22 Feb 2013 13:31

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