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The dynamics of environmentalism and the environment

By Ingmar Schumacher

Abstract

We study the relationship between environmental preferences and the environment. Preferences are transmitted intergenerationally and through social interactions, where we assume that agents are more likely to adopt environmental preferences the larger the amount of pollution. In the basic setting we find that both converge non-monotonically towards an interior steady state. When including technical change we notice that there will be no change in the steady state level of the environment unless technical change is sufficiently strong, which stands in stark contrast to the literature. Upon introducing environmental laws we find that these may lead to a virtually pollution-free environment. This happens if environmental laws are implemented when public support is strong enough.Cultural dynamics Social norms Environmentalism Pollution

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