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Is There an Environmental Kuznets Curve for Sulfur?

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  • Stern, David I.
  • Common, Michael S.

Abstract

The environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis proposes that there is an inverted U-shape relation between environmental degradation and income per capita. Various explanations for this phenomenon have been put forward and some authors argue that important explanatory variables are omitted from conventional EKC estimates. Inclusion of these omitted variables is argued to increase the estimated "turning point" - the level of GDP per capita above which environmental degradation is declining. In this paper we use a new cross-section/time-series data base of sulfur emissions for a wide range of developed and developing countries. The methodology involves estimating EKCs for subsets of this database as well as for the sample as a whole. The results show that estimating an EKC using data for only the OECD countries, as has often been the case, leads to estimates where the turning point is at a much lower level than when the EKC is estimated using data for the World as a whole. The paper explores possible explanations of these results using Monte Carlo analysis, and other statistical tests.We conclude that the simple EKC model is fundamentally misspecified and that there are omitted variables which are correlated with GDP.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 41 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 162-178

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:41:y:2001:i:2:p:162-178

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

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  1. Stern, David I. & Common, Michael S. & Barbier, Edward B., 1996. "Economic growth and environmental degradation: The environmental Kuznets curve and sustainable development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(7), pages 1151-1160, July.
  2. Grossman, G.M & Krueger, A.B., 1991. "Environmental Impacts of a North American Free Trade Agreement," Papers 158, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  3. Moomaw, William R. & Unruh, Gregory C., 1997. "Are environmental Kuznets curves misleading us? The case of CO2 emissions," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 451-463, November.
  4. Lopez Ramon, 1994. "The Environment as a Factor of Production: The Effects of Economic Growth and Trade Liberalization," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 163-184, September.
  5. Panayotou, Theodore, 1997. "Demystifying the environmental Kuznets curve: turning a black box into a policy tool," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 465-484, November.
  6. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  7. Gene M. Grossman & Alan B. Krueger, 1994. "Economic Growth and the Environment," NBER Working Papers 4634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Panayotou T, 1993. "Empirical tests and policy analysis of environmental degradation at different stages of economic development," ILO Working Papers 292778, International Labour Organization.
  9. J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Stern , David I., 1998. "Progress on the environmental Kuznets curve?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 173-196, May.
  11. Cole, M.A. & Rayner, A.J. & Bates, J.M., 1997. "The environmental Kuznets curve: an empirical analysis," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 401-416, November.
  12. Kaufmann, Robert K. & Davidsdottir, Brynhildur & Garnham, Sophie & Pauly, Peter, 1998. "The determinants of atmospheric SO2 concentrations: reconsidering the environmental Kuznets curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 209-220, May.
  13. Shafik, Nemat & Bandyopadhyay, Sushenjit, 1992. "Economic growth and environmental quality : time series and cross-country evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 904, The World Bank.
  14. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  15. Selden Thomas M. & Song Daqing, 1994. "Environmental Quality and Development: Is There a Kuznets Curve for Air Pollution Emissions?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 147-162, September.
  16. Shafik, Nemat, 1994. "Economic Development and Environmental Quality: An Econometric Analysis," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 757-73, Supplemen.
  17. Unruh, G. C. & Moomaw, W. R., 1998. "An alternative analysis of apparent EKC-type transitions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 221-229, May.
  18. De Bruyn, Sander M., 1997. "Explaining the environmental Kuznets curve: structural change and international agreements in reducing sulphur emissions," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 485-503, November.
  19. Vincent, Jeffrey R., 1997. "Testing for environmental Kuznets curves within a developing country," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 417-431, November.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. A Clarification, 14 Years On...
    by David Stern in Stochastic Trend on 2010-11-26 23:49:00
  2. Serializing Energy and Growth Review Paper
    by David Stern in Stochastic Trend on 2010-04-11 06:52:00

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As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
  1. > Environmental and Natural Resource Economics > Environmental Economics > Environmental Kuznets Curve
  2. > Environmental and Natural Resource Economics > Environmental Economics > Economics of acidification
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