IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ecolec/v70y2011i7p1375-1380.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Is economic growth for the birds?

Author

Listed:
  • Strong, Aaron
  • Tschirhart, John
  • Finnoff, David

Abstract

The environment provides ecosystem services that support human wants. Economic growth is important for raising human living standards. But whether economic growth benefits the environment is unclear. Research into this relationship has focused on a U-shaped association known as the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC). As economies grow, environmental quality initially declines but ultimately recovers and improves. However, environmental quality has been narrowly defined in the research, largely neglecting the availability and range of ecosystem services. Because these services derive from biodiversity, we use avian biodiversity as a proxy for environmental quality. Our results replace the U-shaped relationship with a lazy-S relationship. As economies grow, environmental quality initially declines, then improves over intermediate growth, but ultimately declines at higher growth. The EKC hypothesis has been used to forward economic growth as a means for improving environment quality. Our results call into question policies that rely solely on economic growth for reversing environmental decline.

Suggested Citation

  • Strong, Aaron & Tschirhart, John & Finnoff, David, 2011. "Is economic growth for the birds?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(7), pages 1375-1380, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:7:p:1375-1380
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921-8009(11)00086-3
    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. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2004. "Trade, Growth, and the Environment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 7-71, March.
    2. Beckerman, Wilfred, 1992. "Economic growth and the environment: Whose growth? whose environment?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 481-496, April.
    3. Stern, David I., 2004. "The Rise and Fall of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1419-1439, August.
    4. 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.
    5. Barbier, Edward B., 1997. "Introduction to the environmental Kuznets curve special issue," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 357-367, November.
    6. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:17:y:2007:i:5:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Sukkoo Kim, 2002. "The Reconstruction of the American Urban Landscape in the Twentieth Century," NBER Working Papers 8857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Marcy Burchfield & Henry G. Overman & Diego Puga & Matthew A. Turner, 2006. "Causes of Sprawl: A Portrait from Space," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 587-633.
    9. Arrow, Kenneth & Bolin, Bert & Costanza, Robert & Dasgupta, Partha & Folke, Carl & Holling, C.S. & Jansson, Bengt-Owe & Levin, Simon & Mäler, Karl-Göran & Perrings, Charles & Pimentel, David, 1996. "Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 104-110, February.
    10. Fisher, Gordon & Gregory, Allan W., 1981. "An invariance property of generalized classical linear estimators," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 151-157.
    11. Costanza, Robert, 1995. "Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 89-90, November.
    12. Cropper, Maureen & Griffiths, Charles, 1994. "The Interaction of Population Growth and Environmental Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 250-254, May.
    13. 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.
    14. McPherson, Michael A. & Nieswiadomy, Michael L., 2005. "Environmental Kuznets curve: threatened species and spatial effects," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 395-407, November.
    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. 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.

    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:70:y:2011:i:7:p:1375-1380. 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.