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Factoring the environmental Kuznets curve Evidence from Norway

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  • Annegrete Bruvoll
  • Hege Medin

    ()
    (Statistics Norway)

Abstract

The environmental Kuznets curve theory suggests that economic growth may reduce environmental problems. In this article, we analyze the changes in environmentally damaging emissions to air in Norway from 1980 to 1996. In order to reveal the factors which decrease the emissions per produced unit, these changes are subdivided into 8 components. Our analysis shows that, holding emissions per produced unit constant, economic growth alone contributed to an increase in all emissions by about 60 percent. In contrast, decreased energy intensity, the substitution of cleaner for polluting energy types and other technological progressions have reduced the growth. Consequently, the growth in all emissions has been significantly lower than economic growth, and negative for some pollutants. The emissions of sulfur dioxide and lead had the largest reductions over the period. The main cause was technological changes, which have generated lead substitutes in gasoline and abatement technologies for sulfur. For most other emissions, the effect of technological changes was not sufficient to weigh up for economic growth. Then the emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides grew over the period, but far less than the growth in GDP. The emission reducing factors may be explained by the general technological progress that follows economic growth. The correlation between economic growth and the emission reducing energy intensity component is for instance significant.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 275.

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Date of creation: Jun 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:275

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Related research

Keywords: Economic growth; energy intensity; environmental Kuznets curve; pollution;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Agras, Jean & Chapman, Duane, 1999. "A dynamic approach to the Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 267-277, February.
  6. Longva, Svein & Olsen, Oystein, 1983. " Price Sensitivity of Energy Demand in Norwegian Industries," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 85(1), pages 17-36.
  7. Suri, Vivek & Chapman, Duane, 1998. "Economic growth, trade and energy: implications for the environmental Kuznets curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 195-208, May.
  8. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Annegrete Bruvoll & Taran F�hn & Birger Str¯m, 2003. "Quantifying Central Hypotheses on Environmental Kuznets Curves for a Rich Economy: A Computable General Equilibrium Study," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(2), pages 149-173, 05.
  2. Annegrete Bruvoll & Hege Medin, 2003. "Factors Behind the Environmental Kuznets Curve. A Decomposition of the Changes in Air Pollution," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 24(1), pages 27-48, January.
  3. Bruvoll, Annegrete & Faehn, Taran, 2006. "Transboundary effects of environmental policy: Markets and emission leakages," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(4), pages 499-510, October.
  4. Fæhn, Taran & Bruvoll, Annegrete, 2009. "Richer and cleaner--At others' expense?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 103-122, May.
  5. Annegrete Bruvoll & Torstein Bye & Jan Larsson & Kjetil Telle, 2003. "Technological changes in the pulp and paper industry and the role of uniform versus selective environmental policy," Discussion Papers 357, Research Department of Statistics Norway.

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