IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ecolec/v159y2019icp244-260.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Structural Changes and Sustainability. A Selected Review of the Empirical Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Savona, Maria
  • Ciarli, Tommaso

Abstract

The paper offers a review of selected topics in the empirical literature on structural change and sustainability. We focus on aspects of structural change that directly affect emissions and energy intensity: changes of the sectoral composition of economies, trade and international fragmentation of production, technological change and innovation, and demand. We identify several empirical facts. First, only a few countries have experienced a decoupling between growth and emissions, due to proportionately faster growth rather than greater energy efficiency. Second, the long-term shift from manufacturing to services has not led, in all cases, to the de-materialisation of economies and a lower environmental burden. Exploitation of energy efficiency increases depends on the ability of the service sectors to incorporate technical changes to reduce energy intensity. Third, global trade and energy and emissions intensity trends support the ‘pollution haven’ hypothesis, which predicts displacement of the environmental burden from developed to emerging countries. The pursuit by developing countries of a long-term strategy of ‘trading jobs for emissions' is likely to exacerbate the asymmetry related to emissions intensities between developed and less developed economies. The review should inform debate on environmental policy within the broader context of innovation and development policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Savona, Maria & Ciarli, Tommaso, 2019. "Structural Changes and Sustainability. A Selected Review of the Empirical Evidence," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 244-260.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:159:y:2019:i:c:p:244-260
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2019.01.028
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800917313265
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dobes Leo & Jotzo Frank & Stern David I., 2014. "The Economics of Global Climate Change: A Historical Literature Review," Review of Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 65(3), pages 281-320, December.
    2. Lionel Nesta & Elena Verdolini & Francesco Vona, 2018. "Threshold Policy Effects and Directed Technical Change in Energy Innovation," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2018-05, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    3. Tommaso Ciarli & André Lorentz & Maria Savona & Marco Valente, 2010. "The Effect Of Consumption And Production Structure On Growth And Distribution. A Micro To Macro Model," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(1), pages 180-218, February.
    4. Nesta, Lionel & Vona, Francesco & Nicolli, Francesco, 2014. "Environmental policies, competition and innovation in renewable energy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 396-411.
    5. Zsuzsanna Csereklyei, M. d. Mar Rubio-Varas, and David I. Stern, 2016. "Energy and Economic Growth: The Stylized Facts," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
    6. Stefan Ambec & Mark A. Cohen & Stewart Elgie & Paul Lanoie, 2013. "The Porter Hypothesis at 20: Can Environmental Regulation Enhance Innovation and Competitiveness?," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 7(1), pages 2-22, January.
    7. Werner Antweiler & Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2001. "Is Free Trade Good for the Environment?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 877-908, September.
    8. Lazonick, William, 1979. "Industrial Relations and Technical Change: The Case of the Self-Acting Mule," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(3), pages 231-262, September.
    9. Poudel, Biswo N. & Paudel, Krishna P. & Bhattarai, Keshav, 2009. "Searching for an Environmental Kuznets Curve in Carbon Dioxide Pollutant in Latin American Countries," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 41(1), pages 1-15, April.
    10. McMillan, Margaret & Rodrik, Dani & Verduzco-Gallo, Íñigo, 2014. "Globalization, Structural Change, and Productivity Growth, with an Update on Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 11-32.
    11. Stern, David I., 2004. "The Rise and Fall of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1419-1439, August.
    12. Daniel L. Millimet & John A. List & Thanasis Stengos, 2003. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve: Real Progress or Misspecified Models?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 1038-1047, November.
    13. repec:hrv:faseco:34728611 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521700801 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Stern, David I. & Enflo, Kerstin, 2013. "Causality between energy and output in the long-run," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 135-146.
    16. Kaivo-oja, J. & Luukkanen, J. & Panula-Ontto, J. & Vehmas, J. & Chen, Y. & Mikkonen, S. & Auffermann, B., 2014. "Are structural change and modernisation leading to convergence in the CO2 economy? Decomposition analysis of China, EU and USA," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 115-125.
    17. Mulder, Peter & de Groot, Henri L.F., 2012. "Structural change and convergence of energy intensity across OECD countries, 1970–2005," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1910-1921.
    18. Voigt, Sebastian & De Cian, Enrica & Schymura, Michael & Verdolini, Elena, 2014. "Energy intensity developments in 40 major economies: Structural change or technology improvement?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 47-62.
    19. Kander, Astrid, 2005. "Baumol's disease and dematerialization of the economy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 119-130, October.
    20. Popp, David & Newell, Richard G. & Jaffe, Adam B., 2010. "Energy, the Environment, and Technological Change," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 873-937, Elsevier.
    21. Jevan Cherniwchan & Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2017. "Trade and the Environment: New Methods, Measurements, and Results," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 9(1), pages 59-85, September.
    22. Rubio, M.d.Mar & Folchi, Mauricio, 2012. "Will small energy consumers be faster in transition? Evidence from the early shift from coal to oil in Latin America," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 50-61.
    23. Erik Dietzenbacher & Bart Los, 1998. "Structural Decomposition Techniques: Sense and Sensitivity," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(4), pages 307-324.
    24. Dani Rodrik, 2016. "Premature deindustrialization," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 1-33, March.
    25. Adam B. Jaffe & Karen Palmer, 1997. "Environmental Regulation And Innovation: A Panel Data Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 610-619, November.
    26. Mulder, Peter & de Groot, Henri L.F. & Pfeiffer, Birte, 2014. "Dynamics and determinants of energy intensity in the service sector: A cross-country analysis, 1980–2005," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 1-15.
    27. Su, Bin & Ang, B.W., 2012. "Structural decomposition analysis applied to energy and emissions: Some methodological developments," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 177-188.
    28. Peters, Glen P., 2008. "From production-based to consumption-based national emission inventories," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 13-23, March.
    29. Ang, B.W. & Mu, A.R. & Zhou, P., 2010. "Accounting frameworks for tracking energy efficiency trends," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 1209-1219, September.
    30. Muradian, Roldan & Martinez-Alier, Joan, 2001. "Trade and the environment: from a 'Southern' perspective," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 281-297, February.
    31. Gregor Semieniuk, 2018. "Energy in Economic Growth: Is Faster Growth Greener?," Working Papers 208, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.
    32. Wiedmann, Thomas, 2009. "A review of recent multi-region input-output models used for consumption-based emission and resource accounting," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 211-222, December.
    33. Stephan B. Bruns, Christian Gross and David I. Stern, 2014. "Is There Really Granger Causality Between Energy Use and Output?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4).
    34. Dani Rodrik, 2014. "Green industrial policy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(3), pages 469-491.
    35. Maxine Berg, 2002. "From imitation to invention: creating commodities in eighteenth-century Britain[I am grate]," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 55(1), pages 1-30, February.
    36. Henriques, Sofia Teives & Kander, Astrid, 2010. "The modest environmental relief resulting from the transition to a service economy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 271-282, December.
    37. Cole, Matthew A., 2004. "Trade, the pollution haven hypothesis and the environmental Kuznets curve: examining the linkages," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 71-81, January.
    38. Rahel Aichele & Gabriel Felbermayr, 2015. "Kyoto and Carbon Leakage: An Empirical Analysis of the Carbon Content of Bilateral Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(1), pages 104-115, March.
    39. Tommaso Ciarli & Valentina Meliciani & Maria Savona, 2012. "Knowledge Dynamics, Structural Change And The Geography Of Business Services," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(3), pages 445-467, July.
    40. Jeroen van den Bergh & John Gowdy, 2000. "Evolutionary Theories in Environmental and Resource Economics: Approaches and Applications," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 17(1), pages 37-57, September.
    41. Ciarli, Tommaso & Savona, María, 2016. "De los cambios cuadráticos a los cambios exponenciales: relación entre estructura económica y sostenibilidad," Documentos de Proyectos 726, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    42. Vona, Francesco & Patriarca, Fabrizio, 2011. "Income inequality and the development of environmental technologies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 2201-2213, September.
    43. repec:taf:tprsxx:v:56:y:2018:i:1-2:p:86-96 is not listed on IDEAS
    44. Ayres, Robert U. & van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2005. "A theory of economic growth with material/energy resources and dematerialization: Interaction of three growth mechanisms," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 96-118, October.
    45. Muradian, Roldan & O'Connor, Martin & Martinez-Alier, Joan, 2002. "Embodied pollution in trade: estimating the 'environmental load displacement' of industrialised countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 51-67, April.
    46. Kander, Astrid & Lindmark, Magnus, 2006. "Foreign trade and declining pollution in Sweden: a decomposition analysis of long-term structural and technological effects," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(13), pages 1590-1599, September.
    47. Arto, I. & Rueda-Cantuche, J.M. & Andreoni, V. & Mongelli, I. & Genty, A., 2014. "The game of trading jobs for emissions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 517-525.
    48. Douglas Gollin, 2014. "The Lewis Model: A 60-Year Retrospective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 71-88, Summer.
    49. Lionel Nesta & Elena Verdolini & Francesco Vona, 2018. "Threshold Policy Effects and Directed Technical Change in Energy Innovation," GREDEG Working Papers 2018-01, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    50. Taylor M. Scott, 2005. "Unbundling the Pollution Haven Hypothesis," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-28, June.
    51. Ang, B.W. & Huang, H.C. & Mu, A.R., 2009. "Properties and linkages of some index decomposition analysis methods," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4624-4632, November.
    52. Dinda, Soumyananda, 2004. "Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis: A Survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 431-455, August.
    53. Raymond J.G.M. Florax & Henri L.F. de Groot & Peter Mulder (ed.), 2011. "Improving Energy Efficiency through Technology," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3830, April.
    54. Hoekstra, Rutger & van den Bergh, Jeroen C. J. M., 2003. "Comparing structural decomposition analysis and index," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 39-64, January.
    55. Gregory Casey & Oded Galor, 2016. "Is economic growth compatible with reductions in carbon emissions? Investigating the impacts of diminished population growth," Working Papers 2016-8, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    56. Martinez-Alier, Joan & Kallis, Giorgos & Veuthey, Sandra & Walter, Mariana & Temper, Leah, 2010. "Social Metabolism, Ecological Distribution Conflicts, and Valuation Languages," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 153-158, December.
    57. Michael E. Porter & Claas van der Linde, 1995. "Toward a New Conception of the Environment-Competitiveness Relationship," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 97-118, Fall.
    58. repec:bla:devchg:v:49:y:2018:i:6:p:1495-1525 is not listed on IDEAS
    59. Desmarchelier, Benoît & Djellal, Faridah & Gallouj, Faïz, 2013. "Environmental policies and eco-innovations by service firms: An agent-based model," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 80(7), pages 1395-1408.
    60. Rutger Hoekstra & Jeroen C. J. M. van den Bergh, 2006. "The Impact of Structural Change on Physical Flows in the Economy: Forecasting and Backcasting Using Structural Decomposition Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 82(4), pages 582-601.
    61. Nicholas Stern, 2008. "The Economics of Climate Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 1-37, May.
    62. Nordhaus, William D, 1977. "Economic Growth and Climate: The Carbon Dioxide Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(1), pages 341-346, February.
    63. Michael Greenstone & B. Kelsey Jack, 2015. "Envirodevonomics: A Research Agenda for an Emerging Field," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 53(1), pages 5-42, March.
    64. Bin Su & B. W. Ang, 2012. "Structural Decomposition Analysis Applied To Energy And Emissions: Aggregation Issues," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(3), pages 299-317, March.
    65. Wiedmann, Thomas & Wilting, Harry C. & Lenzen, Manfred & Lutter, Stephan & Palm, Viveka, 2011. "Quo Vadis MRIO? Methodological, data and institutional requirements for multi-region input-output analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1937-1945, September.
    66. Daniela Russi & Ana C. Gonzalez-Martinez & José Carlos Silva-Macher & Stefan Giljum & Joan Martínez-Alier & Maria Cristina Vallejo, 2008. "Material Flows in Latin America," Journal of Industrial Ecology, Yale University, vol. 12(5-6), pages 704-720, October.
    67. Muñoz, Pablo & Strohmaier, Rita & Roca, Jordi, 2011. "On the North-South trade in the Americas and its ecological asymmetries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1981-1990, September.
    68. Magnani, Elisabetta, 2000. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve, environmental protection policy and income distribution," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 431-443, March.
    69. Marcus Wagner, 2004. "The Porter Hypothesis Revisited: A Literature Review of Theoretical Models and Empirical Tests," Public Economics 0407014, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    70. Jimenez, Raul & Mercado, Jorge, 2014. "Energy intensity: A decomposition and counterfactual exercise for Latin American countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 161-171.
    71. repec:vep:journl:y:2017:v:136:i:2:p:195-228 is not listed on IDEAS
    72. Martin L. Weitzman, 2011. "Fat-Tailed Uncertainty in the Economics of Catastrophic Climate Change," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(2), pages 275-292, Summer.
    73. McCloskey, Deirdre Nansen, 2009. "Science, Bourgeois Dignity, and the Industrial Revolution," MPRA Paper 22308, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    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. Semrau, Finn Ole & Hanley, Aoife, 2019. "Stepping up to the mark? Firms' export activity and environmental innovation in 14 European countries," Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203635, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. repec:eee:ecolec:v:163:y:2019:i:c:p:177-182 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Structural change; Sustainable development; Tertiarisation; De-materialisation; Pollution haven hypothesis;

    JEL classification:

    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O44 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Environment and Growth
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation

    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:159:y:2019:i:c:p:244-260. 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: (Dana Niculescu). 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.