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What STIRPAT tells about effects of population and affluence on the environment?

  • Wei, Taoyuan

In the literature on the application of STIRPAT to environmental impacts of population and affluence, the parameter estimates differ from study to study. One example is the effect of population size on CO2 emissions, which is concluded to be very close to 1 in some studies (e.g., York et al., 2003) while far from 1 in others (e.g., Shi, 2003). What can explain these differences in results? In the present paper, I offer an alternative model equivalent to STIRPAT, which explicitly specifies the different role of technology (T) in STIRPAT from IPAT. By the alternative model, I conclude that different functional forms of STIRPAT can be one explanation for the difference among estimates in the studies on environmental impacts of population and affluence. The alternative model can also help to determine which factors to be added in STIRPAT.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800911004411
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 72 (2011)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 70-74

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:72:y:2011:i:c:p:70-74
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.10.015
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. York, Richard & Rosa, Eugene A. & Dietz, Thomas, 2003. "STIRPAT, IPAT and ImPACT: analytic tools for unpacking the driving forces of environmental impacts," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 351-365, October.
  2. Leiwen Jiang & Karen Hardee, 2011. "How do Recent Population Trends Matter to Climate Change?," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 30(2), pages 287-312, April.
  3. Shi, Anqing, 2003. "The impact of population pressure on global carbon dioxide emissions, 1975-1996: evidence from pooled cross-country data," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 29-42, February.
  4. Jia, Junsong & Deng, Hongbing & Duan, Jing & Zhao, Jingzhu, 2009. "Analysis of the major drivers of the ecological footprint using the STIRPAT model and the PLS method--A case study in Henan Province, China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(11), pages 2818-2824, September.
  5. Andrew K. Jorgenson & Brett Clark & Jeffrey Kentor, 2010. "Militarization and the Environment: A Panel Study of Carbon Dioxide Emissions and the Ecological Footprints of Nations, 1970-2000," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 10(1), pages 7-29, February.
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