University of Rochester researchers Laura Marsiliani and Thomas Renstrom reviewed hundreds of academic studies of linkages between economic equality and environmental protection and found plenty of evidence to suggest that "poorer individuals tend to prefer less stringent environmental policy."
Or, maybe just Swedish cultural tradition does the job? Anyhow, have a look below the fold for the abstract of the actual work: Environmental Policy & Capital Movements: The Role Of Government Commitment. Now tell us: if you'd seen only the formal abstract, would you have taken the same impression of what the research meant? This work got us thinking, anyhow, about the recent controversy over 'why the environmental movement is dead.' ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY AND CAPITAL MOVEMENTS: THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT COMMITMENT
Thomas I. Renström
This paper explores the relationship between environmental protection and international capital movements, when tax policy is endogenous (through voting). A two-period general equilibrium model of a small open economy is specified to compare the effects of two different constitutions (commitment or no commitment in tax policy), as well as income inequality. Under the commitment regime, the equilibrium is characterized by a lower labor tax, higher environmental tax and less capital moving abroad than in the no-commitment equilibrium. Furthermore, given the degree of commitment, more equal societies are characterized by tougher environmental policy and less capital moving abroad.
Keywords: Environmental policy, international capital movements, time consistency, inequality, political economy, human capital.
JEL classification: F20, H21, H23.
L. Marsiliani, Department of Economics and Finance, University of Durham, 23-26 Old Elvet, Durham, DH1 3HY,
UK. Tel: +44-(0)191-334 6363. Fax: +44-(0)191-334 6341.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.dur.ac.uk/~dec0lm/
T.I. Renström, Department of Economics and Finance, University of Durham, 23-26 Old Elvet, Durham, DH1 3HY,
UK. Tel: +44-(0)191-334 6369. Fax: +44-(0)191-334 6341.
Email: email@example.com Web: http://www.dur.ac.uk/t.i.renstrom/
Earlier version of full paper as pdf document here.