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The EKC for SO2: Does firm size matter?


  • Merlevede, Bruno
  • Verbeke, Tom
  • De Clercq, Marc


The environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis (EKC) predicts and inverse U-shaped relationship between environmental pollution and per capita income. The literature with respect to the EKC is vast but far from conclusive. This paper adds firm size to the standard EKC reduced form regression and analyses whether firm size matters once income and composition are controlled for. Results suggest that countries whose average firm is larger are initially associated with higher levels of environmental damage. However, as economies develop, large firm countries find it easier to adopt environmental legislation. Environmental damage starts to decrease at lower levels of income and the decrease is much larger compared to countries whose firms are on average small.
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Suggested Citation

  • Merlevede, Bruno & Verbeke, Tom & De Clercq, Marc, 2006. "The EKC for SO2: Does firm size matter?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(4), pages 451-461, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:59:y:2006:i:4:p:451-461

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sedigh, Golnaz, 2008. "Do environmental regulations reduce greenhouse gas emissions? A study on Canadian industries," MPRA Paper 10003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Larivière, Jean-Michel & He, Jie, 2012. "L’impact de la taille des firmes industrielles sur la courbe de Kuznets environnementale : le cas des émissions de SO2 en Chine," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 88(1), pages 5-36, mars.
    3. Paudel, Krishna P. & Lin, C.-Y. Cynthia & Pandit, Mahesh, 2014. "Environmental Kuznets Curve for Water Quality Parameters at Global Level," 2014 Annual Meeting, February 1-4, 2014, Dallas, Texas 162618, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    4. He, Jie & Wang, Hua, 2012. "Economic structure, development policy and environmental quality: An empirical analysis of environmental Kuznets curves with Chinese municipal data," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 49-59.
    5. Liu, Yong, 2014. "Barriers to the adoption of low carbon production: A multiple-case study of Chinese industrial firms," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 412-421.
    6. Justin Tevie & Kristine M. Grimsrud & Robert P. Berrens, 2011. "Testing the Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis for Biodiversity Risk in the US: A Spatial Econometric Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(11), pages 1-18, November.
    7. Brajer, Victor & Mead, Robert W. & Xiao, Feng, 2008. "Health benefits of tunneling through the Chinese environmental Kuznets curve (EKC)," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(4), pages 674-686, July.
    8. Gallaway, Terrel & Olsen, Reed N. & Mitchell, David M., 2010. "The economics of global light pollution," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 658-665, January.
    9. Caviglia-Harris, Jill L. & Chambers, Dustin & Kahn, James R., 2009. "Taking the "U" out of Kuznets: A comprehensive analysis of the EKC and environmental degradation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 1149-1159, February.
    10. 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.
    11. David I. Stern, 2004. "Diffusion of Emissions Abating Technology," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0420, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.

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