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NAFTA, Environmental Kuznets Curves, and Mexico's Progress


  • Lipford Jody W.

    () (Presbyterian College)

  • Yandle Bruce

    () (Clemson University and The Property and Environment Research Center)


The effects of NAFTA on Mexicos environment were of great concern pre-NAFTA and have continued to be a matter concern in the post-NAFTA era. As the many studies and evidence presented in this paper show, Mexicos environment in the post-NAFTA period has not suffered as much as pessimists feared, nor has it improved as much as optimists hoped. This outcome is consistent with theory and evidence from Environmental Kuznets Curves in that Mexicos macroeconomic performance has been inadequate to raise Mexicos per capita income to levels needed to cross estimated turning points for many pollutants. Seen in this light, Mexicos environmental quality will continue to be a mixture of modest improvements along with modest setbacks until the economy exhibits strong and sustained growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Lipford Jody W. & Yandle Bruce, 2011. "NAFTA, Environmental Kuznets Curves, and Mexico's Progress," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 10(4), pages 1-20, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:glecon:v:10:y:2011:i:4:n:4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Lipford, Jody W. & Yandle, Bruce, 2010. "Environmental Kuznets curves, carbon emissions, and public choice," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(04), pages 417-438, August.
    3. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Jeffrey J. Schott, 2005. "NAFTA Revisited: Achievements and Challenges," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 332.
    4. Gene M. Grossman & Alan B. Krueger, 1995. "Economic Growth and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 353-377.
    5. Gamper-Rabindran, Shanti, 2006. "NAFTA and the Environment: What Can the Data Tell Us?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 605-633, April.
    6. Borraz Fernando & Lopez-Cordova Jose Ernesto, 2007. "Has Globalization Deepened Income Inequality in Mexico?," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-57, February.
    7. Blecker, Robert A., 2009. "External Shocks, Structural Change, and Economic Growth in Mexico, 1979-2007," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 1274-1284, July.
    8. Richard T. Carson, 2010. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve: Seeking Empirical Regularity and Theoretical Structure," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(1), pages 3-23, Winter.
    9. Khanna, Neha & Plassmann, Florenz, 2004. "The demand for environmental quality and the environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3-4), pages 225-236, December.
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