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Size distribution of national CO2 emissions

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  • Akhundjanov, Sherzod B.
  • Devadoss, Stephen
  • Luckstead, Jeff

Abstract

We examine the size distribution of national carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions on a sample of 210 countries and territories for the period 2000–2010. We employ lognormal, double Pareto-lognormal, lognormal-upper tail Pareto, and Pareto tails-lognormal distributions to estimate CO2 size distribution. The analysis demonstrates that the lognormal-Pareto composite distributions generally fit the size distribution of CO2 emissions better than the lognormal distribution. The parametric analysis reveals that the upper-tail of CO2 emissions is characterized by Zipf's law. The power law in the upper-tail implies that large countries emit much of the CO2. When controlling for population, Zipf's law no longer holds, but per capita CO2 emissions still exhibit a strong Pareto upper tail.

Suggested Citation

  • Akhundjanov, Sherzod B. & Devadoss, Stephen & Luckstead, Jeff, 2017. "Size distribution of national CO2 emissions," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 182-193.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:182-193
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2017.06.012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    CO2 emission; Pareto; Size distribution; Zipf's law;

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C46 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Specific Distributions
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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