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Growth and the pollution convergence hypothesis: a nonparametric approach

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Abstract

The pollution-convergence hypothesis is formalized in a neoclassical growth model with optimal emissions reduction: pollution growth rates are positively correlated with output growth (scale effect) but negatively correlated with emission levels (defensive effect). This dynamic law is empirically tested for two major and regulated air pollutants - nitrogen oxides (NOX) and sulfur oxides (SOX) - with a panel of 25 European countries spanning over years 1980-2005. Traditional parametric models are rejected by the data. However, more flexible regression techniques - semiparametric additive specifications and fully nonparametric regressions with discrete and continuous factors - confirm the existence of the predicted positive and defensive effects. By analyzing the spatial distributions of per capita emissions, we also show that cross-country pollution gaps have decreased over the period for both pollutants and within the Eastern as well as the Western European areas. A Markov modeling approach predicts further cross-country absolute convergence, in particular for SOX. The latter results hold in the presence of spatial non-convergence in per capita income levels within both regions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich in its series CEPE Working paper series with number 09-66.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cee:wpcepe:09-66

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Keywords: Air pollution; convergence; economic growth; mixed nonparametric regressions; distribution dynamics;

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Cited by:
  1. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Antonio Musolesi, 2013. "A Nonlinear Analysis of CO2-Income Relation for Advanced Countries," Working Papers 2013072, University of Ferrara, Department of Economics.
  2. Longhi, C. & Musolesi, A. & Baumont, C., 2013. "Modeling the industrial dynamics of the European metropolitan areas during the process of economic integration: a semiparametric approach," Working Papers 2013-10, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).
  3. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Antonio Musolesi, 2014. "Nonlinearity, heterogeneity and unobserved effects in the carbon dioxide emissions-economic development relation for advanced countries," SEEDS Working Papers 2214, SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies, revised Aug 2014.
  4. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Antonio Musolesi, 2013. "Nonlinearity, Heterogeneity and Unobserved Effects in the CO2-income Relation for Advanced Countries," Working Papers 2013.91, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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