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Searching for an Environmental Kuznets Curve in China's air pollution

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  • Brajer, Victor
  • Mead, Robert W.
  • Xiao, Feng

Abstract

Intuitively, the concept of an Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) is relatively easy to understand: pollution will initially increase with economic development but then decrease again as incomes attain a certain level. The overall concept of pollution, however, actually consists of various components which may behave differently and are not easily combined into a single measure. As a result, the measurement or tracking of an EKC becomes more difficult as one tries to develop a tractable measure of pollution for modeling or policy purposes. For example, in China levels of sulfur dioxide and particulate pollution show some signs of diminishing while nitrogen dioxide levels have increased as China's auto fleet has grown. Consequently, different studies estimating an EKC often generate different results depending upon which pollutant is used and how it is measured. This paper generates composite measures of Chinese air pollution using Nemerow methodology as well as a new epidemiological index based upon the health effects of the pollutants. The paper then tests these index measures to determine whether they display evidence of an EKC and also to examine how they behave in comparison to the individual pollutants.

Suggested Citation

  • Brajer, Victor & Mead, Robert W. & Xiao, Feng, 2011. "Searching for an Environmental Kuznets Curve in China's air pollution," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 383-397, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:22:y:2011:i:3:p:383-397
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. David I. Stern & Jeremy Dijk, 2017. "Economic growth and global particulate pollution concentrations," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 142(3), pages 391-406, June.
    2. Strong, Aaron, 2013. "Measuring Environmental Quality: Ecosystem Services or Human Health Effects," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 38(3), December.
    3. Liu, Ying & Huang, Jikun & Zikhali, Precious, 2016. "The bittersweet fruits of industrialization in rural China: The cost of environment and the benefit from off-farm employment," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 1-10.
    4. David I. Stern & Donglan Zha, 2016. "Economic growth and particulate pollution concentrations in China," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 18(3), pages 327-338, July.
    5. You, Jing & Huang, Yongfu, 2013. "Green-to-Grey China: Determinants and Forecasts of its Green Growth," MPRA Paper 57468, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 16 Jul 2014.
    6. Audi, Marc & Ali, Amjad, 2016. "Environmental Degradation, Energy consumption, Population Density and Economic Development in Lebanon: A time series Analysis (1971-2014)," MPRA Paper 74286, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Muhammad Shahbaz & Saleheen Khan & Amjad Ali & Mita Bhattacharya, 2017. "The Impact Of Globalization On Co2 Emissions In China," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 62(04), pages 929-957, September.
    8. repec:eee:enepol:v:108:y:2017:i:c:p:271-280 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Weber, Shlomo & Wiesmet, Hans, 2016. "Environmental awareness: The case of climate change," CEPR Discussion Papers 11525, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Tiba, Sofien & Omri, Anis, 2017. "Literature survey on the relationships between energy, environment and economic growth," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 1129-1146.
    11. Yang, Haisheng & He, Jie & Chen, Shaoling, 2015. "The fragility of the Environmental Kuznets Curve: Revisiting the hypothesis with Chinese data via an “Extreme Bound Analysis”," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 41-58.
    12. Lee, Sanghoon & Oh, Dae-Won, 2015. "Economic growth and the environment in China: Empirical evidence using prefecture level data," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 73-85.
    13. Wang, Sophie Xuefei & Fu, Yu Benjamin & Zhang, Zhe George, 2015. "Population growth and the environmental Kuznets curve," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 146-165.
    14. Halkos, George E. & Tzeremes, Nickolaos G., 2013. "A conditional directional distance function approach for measuring regional environmental efficiency: Evidence from UK regions," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 227(1), pages 182-189.
    15. Wiesmeth, Hans & Weber, Shlomo, 2015. "Awareness of Climate Change in a Diverse World," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113024, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    16. Song, Ma-Lin & Zhang, Wei & Wang, Shu-Hong, 2013. "Inflection point of environmental Kuznets curve in Mainland China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 14-20.
    17. Li, Tingting & Wang, Yong & Zhao, Dingtao, 2016. "Environmental Kuznets Curve in China: New evidence from dynamic panel analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 138-147.

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