Tourism development, environmental pollution and economic growth: A theoretical analysis

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Research Article

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Journal of International Trade and Economic Development


We develop a two-sector dynamic model of a less-developed economy with an imported traded good sector and with a non-traded tourism service sector serving international tourists. Revenue earned from tourism finances imports. The model takes care of the negative effect of tourism development on environmental pollution. Environmental quality and capital stock accumulates over time. We analyse comparative steady-state effects and show that tourism development raises the level of capital stock as well as national income but lowers the quality of environment in the new steady-state equilibrium leading to a relative expansion (contraction) of the capital (labour) intensive non-tourism (tourism) sector. Pollution abatement policy produces a completely opposite effect; and so tourism development policies are to be accompanied by pollution abatement policies in order to ensure green growth.

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