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Biodiversity Loss and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Analysis


  • John Asafu-Adjaye


This article empirically examines the relationship between biodiversity loss and economic growth in light of the current debate on the effects of economic growth on environmental quality. The basic premise is that biodiversity belongs to a special class of environmental degradation because it involves complex ecosystems, the loss of which cannot be recovered by technological advances. The main finding is that although economic growth has an expected adverse effect on biodiversity, the composition of economic output can also be significant, particularly in low-income countries. The study highlights the need to develop appropriate institutions and macroeconomic policies that allow biodiversity values to be internalized in decisionmaking processes. Copyright 2003 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • John Asafu-Adjaye, 2003. "Biodiversity Loss and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Analysis," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(2), pages 173-185, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:21:y:2003:i:2:p:173-185

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Beckerman, Wilfred, 1992. "Economic growth and the environment: Whose growth? whose environment?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 481-496, April.
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    6. List, John A. & Gallet, Craig A., 1999. "The environmental Kuznets curve: does one size fit all?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 409-423, December.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Torras, Mariano & Boyce, James K., 1998. "Income, inequality, and pollution: a reassessment of the environmental Kuznets Curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 147-160, May.
    10. 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.
    11. Cropper, Maureen & Griffiths, Charles, 1994. "The Interaction of Population Growth and Environmental Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 250-254, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Angela Münch, 2010. "Agri-Environmental Schemes and Grassland Biodiversity: Another Side of the Coin," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-026, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    2. Ariane Manuela Amin, 2012. "What Drives Biodiversity Conservation Effort in the Developing World? An analysis for Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers halshs-00722081, HAL.
    3. McPherson, Michael A. & Nieswiadomy, Michael L., 2005. "Environmental Kuznets curve: threatened species and spatial effects," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 395-407, November.
    4. Andreas Freytag & Christoph Vietze, 2013. "Can nature promote development? The role of sustainable tourism for economic growth," Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 16-44, March.
    5. Halkos, George & Paizanos, Epameinondas, 2015. "Environmental Macroeconomics: A critical literature review and future empirical research directions," MPRA Paper 67432, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Philipp Babcicky, 2013. "Rethinking the Foundations of Sustainability Measurement: The Limitations of the Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI)," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 113(1), pages 133-157, August.
    7. Francisca Guedes de Oliveira & Alexandra Leitão, 2012. "Cultural and Political Determinants of Air Quality," Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers) 01, Católica Porto Business School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa.
    8. Ariane Amin & Johanna Choumert, 2015. "Development and biodiversity conservation in Sub-Saharan Africa: A spatial analysis," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(1), pages 729-744.
    9. de santis, roberta, 2012. "Trade, FDI, growth and biodiversity: an empirical analysis for the main OECD countries," MPRA Paper 37730, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Frank, Joshua, 2008. "Is there an "animal welfare Kuznets curve"?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 478-491, June.
    11. Salpie Djoundourian, 2011. "Environmental movement in the Arab world," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 743-758, August.
    12. Ling Yi & Zengxiang Zhang & Xiaoli Zhao & Bin Liu & Xiao Wang & Qingke Wen & Lijun Zuo & Fang Liu & Jingyong Xu & Shunguang Hu, 2016. "Have Changes to Unused Land in China Improved or Exacerbated Its Environmental Quality in the Past Three Decades?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(2), pages 1-15, February.
    13. Iritie, Jean-Jacques, 2015. "Economic Growth, Biodiversity and Conservation Policies in Africa: an Overview," MPRA Paper 62005, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Roberta DE SANTIS, 2012. "The Impact Of Growth On Biodiversity: An Empirical Assessment," Journal of Applied Economic Sciences, Spiru Haret University, Faculty of Financial Management and Accounting Craiova, vol. 7(3(21)/ Fa), pages 283-290.
    15. Andreas Freytag & Christoph Vietze, 2006. "International Tourism, development and Biodiversity: First Evidence," Jenaer Schriften zur Wirtschaftswissenschaft (Expired!) 11/2006, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    16. Pandit, Ram & Laband, David N., 2011. "Impacts of Population and Income Growth Rates on Threatened Mammals and Birds," 2011 Conference (55th), February 8-11, 2011, Melbourne, Australia 101404, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    17. Mills Busa, Julianne H., 2013. "Dynamite in the EKC tunnel? Inconsistencies in resource stock analysis under the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 116-126.
    18. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:2:p:184:d:64188 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Iritié, Bi Goli Jean Jacques, 2015. "Economic growth and biodiversity: An overview. Conservation policies in Africa," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 196-208.
    20. Al Mamun, Md. & Sohag, Kazi & Hannan Mia, Md. Abdul & Salah Uddin, Gazi & Ozturk, Ilhan, 2014. "Regional differences in the dynamic linkage between CO2 emissions, sectoral output and economic growth," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 1-11.
    21. Begum, Rawshan Ara & Sohag, Kazi & Abdullah, Sharifah Mastura Syed & Jaafar, Mokhtar, 2015. "CO2 emissions, energy consumption, economic and population growth in Malaysia," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 594-601.

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