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Unexpected connections: Income inequality and environmental degradation

Abstract: 
A better understanding of what socioeconomic forces drive a lack of environmental conservation is important to sustainability. Research has shown that economic growth affect environmental quality, but only certain variables seem to be the causes. Income inequality has emerged as a force behind many social problems, and environmental degradation appears to be one of the side effects. It is unclear whether this income inequality is merely a symptom of some other social issue that is also driving the environmental degradation or whether the inequality itself is the root cause. It is known that one of the solutions often settled on in times of economic hardship - lowering spending on environmental protection - is enacted at both the micro and macro economic levels, resulting in poor nations having less sustainability. Further research is necessary to discover potential solutions to this problem.
Author: 
Jacqueline Haupt
Institution: 
Shaping Tomorrow's World
Year: 
2012
Input By: 
Alec Heifetz
Affiliation: 
MIT
Region(s): 
Industry Focus: 
Other Services
Datatype(s): 
Theory/Definition