IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ecolec/v142y2017icp249-256.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Trade-off Between Income Inequality and Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Author

Listed:
  • Grunewald, Nicole
  • Klasen, Stephan
  • Martínez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada
  • Muris, Chris

Abstract

We investigate the theoretically ambiguous link between income inequality and per capita carbon dioxide emissions using a panel data set that is substantially larger (in both regional and temporal coverage) than those used in the existing literature. Using an arguably superior group fixed effects estimator, we find that the relationship between income inequality and per capita emissions depends on the level of income. We show that for low and middle-income economies, higher income inequality is associated with lower carbon emissions while in upper middle-income and high-income economies, higher income inequality increases per capita emissions. The result is robust to the inclusion of plausible transmission variables.

Suggested Citation

  • Grunewald, Nicole & Klasen, Stephan & Martínez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada & Muris, Chris, 2017. "The Trade-off Between Income Inequality and Carbon Dioxide Emissions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 249-256.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:249-256
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2017.06.034
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S092180091630619X
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Berthe, Alexandre & Elie, Luc, 2015. "Mechanisms explaining the impact of economic inequality on environmental deterioration," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 191-200.
    2. Ikefuji, Masako & Laeven, Roger J.A. & Magnus, Jan R. & Muris, Chris, 2015. "Expected utility and catastrophic consumption risk," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 306-312.
    3. Martin Gassebner & Noel Gaston & Michael J Lamla, 2008. "Relief For The Environment? The Importance Of An Increasingly Unimportant Industrial Sector," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(2), pages 160-178, April.
    4. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Selden, Thomas M., 1995. "Stoking the fires? CO2 emissions and economic growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 85-101, May.
    5. Alassane Drabo, 2011. "Impact of Income Inequality on Health: Does Environment Quality Matter?," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 43(1), pages 146-165, January.
    6. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002. "Growth Is Good for the Poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
    7. Stephen Jenkins, 2015. "World income inequality databases: an assessment of WIID and SWIID," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 13(4), pages 629-671, December.
    8. Martin Wittenberg, 2015. "Problems with SWIID: the case of South Africa," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 13(4), pages 673-677, December.
    9. Stéphane Bonhomme & Elena Manresa, 2015. "Grouped Patterns of Heterogeneity in Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83(3), pages 1147-1184, May.
    10. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    11. Boyce, James K., 1994. "Inequality as a cause of environmental degradation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 169-178, December.
    12. Liu, Wenling & Wang, Can & Mol, Arthur P.J., 2012. "Rural residential CO2 emissions in China: Where is the major mitigation potential?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 223-232.
    13. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
    14. Nathalie Scholl & Stephan Klasen, 2019. "Re-estimating the relationship between inequality and growth," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 824-847.
    15. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Duflo, Esther, 2003. "Inequality and Growth: What Can the Data Say?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 267-299, September.
    16. Coondoo, Dipankor & Dinda, Soumyananda, 2008. "Carbon dioxide emission and income: A temporal analysis of cross-country distributional patterns," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 375-385, April.
    17. 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.
    18. Frederick Solt, 2009. "Standardizing the World Income Inequality Database," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 90(2), pages 231-242, June.
    19. James Boyce, 1994. "Inequality as a Cause of Environmental Degradation," Published Studies ps1, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    20. Scruggs, Lyle A., 1998. "Political and economic inequality and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 259-275, September.
    21. Baek, Jungho & Gweisah, Guankerwon, 2013. "Does income inequality harm the environment?: Empirical evidence from the United States," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1434-1437.
    22. Liu, Wenling & Spaargaren, Gert & Heerink, Nico & Mol, Arthur P.J. & Wang, Can, 2013. "Energy consumption practices of rural households in north China: Basic characteristics and potential for low carbon development," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 128-138.
    23. 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.
    24. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    25. Heerink, Nico & Mulatu, Abay & Bulte, Erwin, 2001. "Income inequality and the environment: aggregation bias in environmental Kuznets curves," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 359-367, September.
    26. Frederick Solt, 2009. "Standardizing the World Income Inequality Database," LIS Working papers 496, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    27. Kristin J. Forbes, 2000. "A Reassessment of the Relationship between Inequality and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 869-887, September.
    28. Mark Heil & Thomas Selden, 1999. "Panel stationarity with structural breaks: carbon emissions and GDP," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(4), pages 223-225.
    29. Moises Neil V. Seriño & Stephan Klasen, 2015. "Estimation and Determinants of the Philippines' Household Carbon Footprint," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 53(1), pages 44-62, March.
    30. Marsiliani, Laura & Renström, Thomas I, 2003. "Inequality, Environmental Protection and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3754, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    31. Carola Gruen & Stephan Klasen, 2008. "Growth, inequality, and welfare: comparisons across space and time," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 212-236, April.
    32. Magnani, Elisabetta, 2000. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve, environmental protection policy and income distribution," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 431-443, March.
    33. Ravallion, Martin & Heil, Mark & Jalan, Jyotsna, 2000. "Carbon Emissions and Income Inequality," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 651-669, October.
    34. McAusland, Carol, 2003. "Voting for pollution policy: the importance of income inequality and openness to trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 425-451, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Uddin, Md. Main & Mishra, Vinod & Smyth, Russell, 2020. "Income inequality and CO2 emissions in the G7, 1870–2014: Evidence from non-parametric modelling," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C).
    2. Fateh Belaïd, Sabri Boubaker, Rajwane Kafrouni, 2020. "Carbon emissions, income inequality and environmental degradation: the case of Mediterranean countries," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 17(1), pages 73-102, June.
    3. Dmitry Burakov & Alexander Bass, 2019. "Institutional determinants of environmental pollution in Russia: a non-linear ARDL approach," Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues, VsI Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Center, vol. 7(1), pages 510-524, September.
    4. Zhang, C. & Sun, Y. & Hu, R., 2018. "Does urban-rural income inequality increase agricultural fertilizer or pesticide use? A provincial panel data analysis in China," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277033, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Moises Neil V. Seriño, 2020. "Rising carbon footprint inequality in the Philippines," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 22(2), pages 173-195, April.
    6. Marta Gómez-Puig & Simón Sosvilla-Rivero & Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso, 2019. "Re-examining the debt-growth nexus: A grouped fixed-effect approach," Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE 2019-21, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico.
    7. Stephan Klasen, 2018. "Inequality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions," Journal of Income Distribution, Ad libros publications inc., vol. 26(3), pages 1-14, October.
    8. Kopp, Thomas & Dorn, Franziska, 2018. "Social equity and ecological sustainability: Can the two be achieved together?," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 357, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    9. Rojas-Vallejos, Jorge & Lastuka, Amy, 2020. "The income inequality and carbon emissions trade-off revisited," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
    10. Germà Bel & Jordi J. Teixidó, 2019. "“The Political Economy of the Paris Agreement. Income Inequality and Climate Policy”," IREA Working Papers 201915, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Sep 2019.
    11. Chao Zhang & Ruifa Hu, 2020. "Does Fertilizer Use Intensity Respond to the Urban-Rural Income Gap? Evidence from a Dynamic Panel-Data Analysis in China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(1), pages 1-15, January.
    12. Yulin Liu & Min Zhang & Rujia Liu, 2020. "The Impact of Income Inequality on Carbon Emissions in China: A Household-Level Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(7), pages 1-22, March.
    13. Topcu, Mert & Tugcu, Can Tansel, 2020. "The impact of renewable energy consumption on income inequality: Evidence from developed countries," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 1134-1140.
    14. Abebe Hailemariam & Ratbek Dzhumashev & Muhammad Shahbaz, 2020. "Carbon emissions, income inequality and economic development," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 59(3), pages 1139-1159, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental Quality; Income Inequality; Panel Data;

    JEL classification:

    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:249-256. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.