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Debt, democratization, and development in Latin America: How policy can affect global warming

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Author Info

  • René W. Aubourg

    (American University)

  • David H. Good

    (Indiana University)

  • Kerry Krutilla

    (Indiana University)

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    Abstract

    The environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis conjectures a nonlinear relationship between pollution and economic growth, such that pollution per capita initially increases as countries economically develop, but then reaches a maximum point before ultimately declining. Much of the EKC literature has focused on testing this basic hypothesis and, in studies that find evidence of an EKC, estimating the “turning point” level of development at which the per capita pollution-growth relationship changes sign. This approach has not emphasized the policy relevance of specification issues or the potential role of policy variables. This research explores a modified EKC specification which conditions the pollution-growth relationship on a country's level of debt and degree of democratization. These variables turn out to be significant, implying that different political and economic contexts can shift EKCs and their turning points. These findings suggest that policies to relieve debt burdens and institute political reform, in addition to their usual justifications, also could be used as a strategy to reduce carbon emissions from developing countries. © 2008 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/pam.20304
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 7-19

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:27:y:2008:i:1:p:7-19

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    Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home

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    1. Boyd Roy & Krutilla Kerry & Viscusi W. Kip, 1995. "Energy Taxation as a Policy Instrument to Reduce CO2 Emissions: A Net Benefit Analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-24, July.
    2. repec:fth:calaec:11-99 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Grossman, Gene M & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Economic Growth and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 353-77, May.
    4. Alun H. Thomas, 2006. "Do Debt-Service Savings and Grants Boost Social Expenditures?," IMF Working Papers 06/180, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Galeotti, Marzio & Lanza, Alessandro & Pauli, Francesco, 2006. "Reassessing the environmental Kuznets curve for CO2 emissions: A robustness exercise," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 152-163, April.
    6. 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.
    7. Deacon, Robert, 1999. "The Political Economy of Environment-Development Relationships: A Preliminary Framework," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt8h33b5c0, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    8. Richmond, Amy K. & Kaufmann, Robert K., 2006. "Is there a turning point in the relationship between income and energy use and/or carbon emissions?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 176-189, February.
    9. Barro, Robert J, 1996. " Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
    10. Marzio Galeotti & Alessandro Lanza, 2000. "Desperately Seeking Environmental Kuznets," Development Working Papers 137, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
    11. Dinda, Soumyananda, 2004. "Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis: A Survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 431-455, August.
    12. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Thomas M. Selden, 1992. "Stoking the Fires? Co2 Emissions and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Shafik, Nemat, 1994. "Economic Development and Environmental Quality: An Econometric Analysis," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 757-73, Supplemen.
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