Population aging and carbon emissions in OECD countries: Accounting for life-cycle and cohort effects
This paper investigates the relationship between emissions of carbon dioxide and the ongoing process of demographic transition in OECD countries. Our research is motivated by suggestions in the literature that emission-relevant consumption patterns may depend on the position in the life cycle and on the birth cohort to which people belong. We augment standard macroeconomic emission regressions by including the age and cohort composition of the population. Our estimation results on a panel of data for 26 countries, spanning the period 1960–2005, suggest that both life-cycle and cohort effects belong in a macroeconomic emission function for carbon dioxide. We find that shifts in both the age and the cohort composition have contributed to rising carbon emissions in OECD countries.
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