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Does income inequality harm the environment?: Empirical evidence from the United States

  • Baek, Jungho
  • Gweisah, Guankerwon

This study revisits the growth-inequality-environment nexus in the context of country-specific time series data. The short- and long-run effects of income inequality, economic growth and energy consumption on CO2 emissions in the U.S. are examined using the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) approach. We find that more equitable distribution of income in the U.S. results in better environmental quality in the short- and long-run. It is also found that, in both the short- and long-run, economic growth has a beneficial effect on environmental quality, whereas energy consumption has a detrimental effect on the environment.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 62 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 1434-1437

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:62:y:2013:i:c:p:1434-1437
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

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  1. Iwata, Hiroki & Okada, Keisuke & Samreth, Sovannroeun, 2009. "Empirical Study on the Environmental Kuznets Curve for CO2 in France: The Role of Nuclear Energy," MPRA Paper 18997, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  5. Boyce, James K., 1994. "Inequality as a cause of environmental degradation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 169-178, December.
  6. Torras, Mariano & Boyce, James K., 1998. "Income, inequality, and pollution: a reassessment of the environmental Kuznets Curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 147-160, May.
  7. Hyun S Kim & Jungho Baek, 2011. "The Environmental Consequences of Economic Growth Revisited," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(2), pages 1198-1211.
  8. Shafik, Nemat, 1994. "Economic Development and Environmental Quality: An Econometric Analysis," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 757-73, Supplemen.
  9. Agras, Jean & Chapman, Duane, 1999. "A dynamic approach to the Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 267-277, February.
  10. M. Hashem Pesaran & Yongcheol Shin & Richard J. Smith, 2001. "Bounds testing approaches to the analysis of level relationships," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 289-326.
  11. Magnani, Elisabetta, 2000. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve, environmental protection policy and income distribution," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 431-443, March.
  12. Heerink, Nico & Mulatu, Abay & Bulte, Erwin, 2001. "Income inequality and the environment: aggregation bias in environmental Kuznets curves," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 359-367, September.
  13. James Boyce, 1994. "Inequality as a Cause of Environmental Degradation," Published Studies ps1, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
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