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Can Black Africa afford to be Green Africa?


  • Gregory N. Price
  • Juliet U. Elu


Purpose - – The purpose of this paper is to use a neoclassical factor pricing approach to carbon emissions, and consider whether the productivity of carbon emissions differs in Sub-Saharan Africa relative to the rest of the world. Design/methodology/approach - – Allowing for possible cross-country dependency and correlation in the effects of the factors of production on the level of gross domestic product per capita, the authors estimate the parameters of a cross-country net production function with carbon emissions as an input. Findings - – While there is a “Sub-Saharan Africa effect” whereby carbon emissions are less productive as an input relative to the rest of the world; practically it is equally productive relative to all other countries suggesting a unfavorable distributional impact if Sub-Saharan Africa were to implement carbon emissions reductions consistent with the Kyoto Protocol. Research limitations/implications - – If global warming is not anthropogenic or caused by carbon emissions, the parameter estimates do not inform an optimal and equitable carbon emissions policy based upon Sub-Saharan Africans reducing their short-run living standards. Practical implications - – Fair and equitable global carbon emissions policies should aim to treat Sub-Saharan African countries in proportion to their carbon emissions, and not unfairly impose emissions constraints on them equal to that of countries in the industrialized west. Social implications - – As Sub-Saharan Africa has a disproportionate number of individuals in the world living on less than one dollar a day, the results suggest “Black Africa” may not be able to afford being a “Green Africa.” Originality/value - – The results are the first to quantify the effects of carbon emissions restrictions on output and their distributional implications for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregory N. Price & Juliet U. Elu, 2016. "Can Black Africa afford to be Green Africa?," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 43(1), pages 48-58, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:jespps:v:43:y:2016:i:1:p:48-58

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