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A Good Life on a Finite EarthThe Political Economy of Green Growth$
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Daniel J. Fiorino

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190605803

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190605803.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 12 April 2021

Inequality and Green Growth

Inequality and Green Growth

(p.98) 5 Inequality and Green Growth
A Good Life on a Finite Earth

Daniel J. Fiorino

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the role of economic inequality in influencing a society’s capacity for ecological protection and green growth. Its premise is that for two similar political systems differing only in their degree of inequality, the less unequal one will have advantages. Although there still is limited research on the role of income and wealth inequality in influencing ecological performance, evidence suggests that more economically equitable societies hold an advantage. This is partly due to economic factors, such as the tendency in more unequal societies to promote consumption based on status competition and positional goods, but there is evidence of political and social factors as well. High economic inequality increases social mistrust and distance, which undermines the ability to collectively value public goods. Any green growth strategy should account for the sources of and effects of inequality.

Keywords:   economic inequality, environmental justice, social trust, collective action, ecological public goods, consumption

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