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An empirical analysis reveals that states with more highly educated populations have better environmental conditions, after controlling for income, population density, and industrial composition. The strategy of raising human capital stocks to maintain or improve environmental quality is proposed as a complement, if not an alternative, to direct government intervention, which consists of command and control, market incentives, and moral suasion. Under this approach, general education becomes the control variable that guides economic behavior in a manner consistent with long-term environmental sustainability.


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