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How Economic Development Influences the Environment (WP-21-37)

Seema Jayachandran

Reducing global poverty and addressing climate change and other environmental crises are among the most important challenges facing humanity today. This review article discusses one way in which these problems are intertwined: economic development affects the environment. Jayachandran synthesizes recent microempirical research on the environmental effects of economic development in low- and middle-income countries. The studies that she discusses identify the causal effects of specific aspects of economic development such as greater household purchasing power, expanded access to credit, more secure property rights, technological progress, and stronger regulatory capacity. She concludes by outlining some gaps in the literature.

Seema Jayachandran, Professor of Economics and IPR Fellow, Northwestern University

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