Protecting Natural and Social Resources: A political economy approach

This paper studies the set-up (following a voting process) of institutional arrangements related to the protection of natural and social resources in a context of inequalities and environmental challenges. To analyze how institutional and legislative protection arises, three socioeconomic groups are considered: the educated bourgeoisie, the working classes and the fi…nancial elite. Groups are differentiated according to the following divides. Individuals belonging to the fi…nancial elite only rely on capital incomes: they invest on …firms running either polluting or non-polluting activities. Individuals belonging to the first two groups are differentiated on the following levels: the demand for redistribution (from the working class) and the claims for environment-friendly legislation in relation with clean transport means (by the educated bourgeoisie). We study the institutional framework chosen by individuals under different assumptions concerning the political vote: disjoint majority versus coalition voting. The main result is that -in reaction to the …financial elite being the unique winner of the disjoint majority vote- a people’s green coalition can emerge, whose redistributive and green choices run against the preferences of the …financial elite. This leads to the “greening” of the fi…nancial elite, which in turn isolates the working classes in the political arena.

Author: Donatella, Gatti
Volume: 2021.10
Publisher: INFER
Year: 2021
No. of pages: 49
Working papers