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State Capacity and the Environmental Investment Gap in Authoritarian States

Ward, H and Cao, X and Mukherjee, B (2014) 'State Capacity and the Environmental Investment Gap in Authoritarian States.' Comparative Political Studies, 47 (3). pp. 309-343. ISSN 0010-4140

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Abstract

We construct an n-period, constrained optimization model where the authoritarian ruler maximizes expected rents subject to budget constraint of available surplus. We show that the larger state capacity is in the previous period, the worse environmental quality will be in the next period: while infrastructural investment and environmental protection increase with state capacity, the former increases at a faster rate which enlarges the gap between the two?the environmental investment gap. Given infrastructural public goods typically damage the environment, the larger this gap is the worse the environmental quality would be. This follows from rulers? optimizing logic of equating marginal returns once we assume the declining marginal productivity of factors of production of surplus. We model three types of air and water pollutants in autocracies as a function of state capacity and other relevant variables. State capacity is associated with higher levels of all three types of pollutants.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: authoritarian states; environment; state capacity; environmental investment gap; pollution
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2014 10:53
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 01:08
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/12133

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