Staff Publications

Staff Publications

  • external user (warningwarning)
  • Log in as
  • language uk
  • About

    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

    We have a manual that explains all the features 

Record number 549172
Title Technology driven inequality leads to poverty and resource depletion
Author(s) Usman Mirza, M.; Richter, Andries; Nes, Egbert H. van; Scheffer, Marten
Source Ecological Economics 160 (2019). - ISSN 0921-8009 - p. 215 - 226.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2019.02.015
Department(s) Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
WASS
Environmental Economics and Natural Resources
WIMEK
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) Critical transitions - Dynamic systems - Inequality - Poverty trap - Social-ecological systems - Technology
Abstract

The rapid rise in inequality is often seen to go in-hand with resource overuse. Examples include water extraction in Pakistan, land degradation in Bangladesh, forest harvesting in Sub-Saharan Africa and industrial fishing in Lake Victoria. While access to ecosystem services provided by common pool resources mitigates poverty, exclusive access to technology by wealthy individuals may fuel excessive resource extraction and deplete the resource, thus widening the wealth gap. We use a stylised social-ecological model, to illustrate how a positive feedback between wealth and technology may fuel local inequality. The resulting rise in local inequality can lead to resource degradation and critical transitions such as ecological resource collapse and unexpected increase in poverty. Further, we find that societies may evolve towards a stable state of few wealthy and many poor individuals, where the distribution of wealth depends on how access to technology is distributed. Overall, our results illustrate how access to technology may be a mechanism that fuels resource degradation and consequently pushes most vulnerable members of society into a poverty trap.

Comments
There are no comments yet. You can post the first one!
Post a comment
 
Please log in to use this service. Login as Wageningen University & Research user or guest user in upper right hand corner of this page.