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Does the Environmental Kuznets Curve Describe How Individual Countries Behave?

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  • Deacon, Robert
  • Norman, Catherine S

Abstract

The environmental Kuznets curve (EKC), an inverted-U relationship between pollution and income, is an influential generalization about the way environmental quality changes as a country makes the transition from poverty to relative affluence. The EKC predicts that pollution will first increase, but subsequently decline if income growth proceeds far enough. We examine within-country time series data on air pollution and income for a sample of individual countries to see if this generalized prediction is commonly borne out. The empirical approach employs robust, nonparametric methods and a recently available data set on SO2, smoke, and particulate air pollution. In most cases examined, the within-country income-pollution patterns we observe do not differ significantly from what would be expected to occur by chance. Where income-pollution relationships are consistent with EKC predictions, the patterns involved are also consistent with a much simpler hypothesis.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara in its series University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series with number qt6gm8164w.

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Date of creation: 05 Apr 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt6gm8164w

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Keywords: environmental Kuznets curve; environment and development; air pollution;

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  1. CARSON, RICHARd T. & JEON, YONGIL & McCUBBIN, DONALD R., 1997. "The relationship between air pollution emissions and income: US Data," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 433-450, November.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Stokey, Nancy L, 1998. "Are There Limits to Growth?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 1-31, February.
  5. Roger Perman & David I. Stern, 2003. "Evidence from panel unit root and cointegration tests that the Environmental Kuznets Curve does not exist," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 47(3), pages 325-347, 09.
  6. Beckerman, Wilfred, 1992. "Economic growth and the environment: Whose growth? whose environment?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 481-496, April.
  7. Gene M. Grossman & Alan B. Krueger, 1994. "Economic Growth and the Environment," NBER Working Papers 4634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Lantz, Van, 2002. "Is there an Environmental Kuznets Curve for clearcutting in Canadian forests?," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 199-212.
  9. David I. Stern & Tony Auld & Michael S. Common & Kali K. Sanyal, 1998. "Is there an environmental Kuznets curve for sulfur?," Working Papers in Ecological Economics 9804, Australian National University, Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, Ecological Economics Program.
  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. 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.
  12. Vincent, Jeffrey R., 1997. "Resource depletion and economic sustainability in Malaysia," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(01), pages 19-37, February.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Lopez, Ramon & Mitra, Siddhartha, 2000. "Corruption, Pollution, and the Kuznets Environment Curve," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 137-150, September.
  16. Barrett, Scott & Graddy, Kathryn, 2000. "Freedom, growth, and the environment," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(04), pages 433-456, October.
  17. Werner Antweiler & Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 1998. "Is Free Trade Good for the Environment?," NBER Working Papers 6707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Hilton, F. G. Hank & Levinson, Arik, 1998. "Factoring the Environmental Kuznets Curve: Evidence from Automotive Lead Emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 126-141, March.
  19. Coondoo, Dipankor & Dinda, Soumyananda, 2002. "Causality between income and emission: a country group-specific econometric analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 351-367, March.
  20. 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.
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