Pollution-Development Tradeoffs in Nigeria: An Agent-based Model

  • Christopher Thron Department of Science and Mathematics, Texas A & M University-Central Texas, Killeen TX 76549 USA
  • Katrina Smith U.S. Army Operational Test Command, Killeen Texas 76549 USA


Like many developing countries, Nigeria, is faced with a number of tradeoffs that pit rapid economic development against environmental preservation. Environmentally sustainable,“green" economic development is slower, more costly, and more difficult than unrestricted, unregulated economic growth. In this paper we develop an agent-based computational model of agents (who can be individuals or organizations) in a population who make successive choices that have economic and environmental impacts. Simulations based on the model suggest that widespread public awareness of environmental issues is insufficient to prevent the tendency towards sacrificing the environment for the sake of growth. Even if people have an understanding of negative impacts and always choose to act in their own self-interest, they may still act collectively in such a way as to bring down the quality of life for the entire society. We conclude that besides raising public awareness, economic intervention by the government (in the form of incentives or penalties) may be the only way to achieve an optimal balance between economic and environmental factors.

How to Cite
Thron, C., & Smith, K. (2021). Pollution-Development Tradeoffs in Nigeria: An Agent-based Model. International Journal of Mathematical Sciences and Optimization: Theory and Applications, 7(1), 43 - 58. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.14741295