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Testing the Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis for Biodiversity Risk in the US: A Spatial Econometric Approach

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  • Justin Tevie

    () (Department of Economics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA)

  • Kristine M. Grimsrud

    () (Department of Economics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA)

  • Robert P. Berrens

    () (Department of Economics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA)

Abstract

This study investigates whether the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) relationship is supported for a measure of biodiversity risk and economic development across the United States (US). Using state-level data for all 48 contiguous states, biodiversity risk is measured using a Modified Index (MODEX). This index is an adaptation of a comprehensive National Biodiversity Risk Assessment Index. The MODEX differs from other measures in that it is takes into account the impact of human activities and conservation measures. The econometric approach includes corrections for spatial autocorrelation effects, which are present in the data. Modeling estimation results do not support the EKC hypothesis for biodiversity risk in the US. This finding is robust over ordinary least squares, spatial error, and spatial lag models, where the latter is shown to be the preferred model. Results from the spatial lag regression show that a 1% increase in human population density is associated with about a 0.19% increase in biodiversity risk. Spatial dependence in this case study explains 30% of the variation, as risk in one state spills over into adjoining states. From a policy perspective, this latter result supports the need for coordinated efforts at state and federal levels to address the problem of biodiversity loss.

Suggested Citation

  • Justin Tevie & Kristine M. Grimsrud & Robert P. Berrens, 2011. "Testing the Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis for Biodiversity Risk in the US: A Spatial Econometric Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(11), pages 1-18, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:3:y:2011:i:11:p:2182-2199:d:14831
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ariane Amin & Johanna Choumert, 2015. "Development and biodiversity conservation in Sub-Saharan Africa: A spatial analysis," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(1), pages 729-744.
    2. Wei Li & Shuang Sun & Hao Li, 2015. "Decomposing the decoupling relationship between energy-related CO 2 emissions and economic growth in China," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 79(2), pages 977-997, November.
    3. Gren, Ing-Marie & Campos, Monica & Gustafsson, Lena & Elofsson, Katarina, 2013. "Species Imperilment on the Global Scale: Empirical evidences of economic causes," Working Paper Series 2013:7, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department Economics.
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:5:p:462:d:69739 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Li Li & Xuefei Hong & Dengli Tang & Ming Na, 2016. "GHG Emissions, Economic Growth and Urbanization: A Spatial Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(5), pages 1-16, May.
    6. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:5:p:468:d:69823 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Wei Shang & Guifen Pei & Conor Walsh & Ming Meng & Xiangsong Meng, 2016. "Have Market-oriented Reforms Decoupled China’s CO 2 Emissions from Total Electricity Generation? An Empirical Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(5), pages 1-12, May.
    8. Ling Wang & Zhongchang Chen & Dalai Ma & Pei Zhao, 2013. "Measuring Carbon Emissions Performance in 123 Countries: Application of Minimum Distance to the Strong Efficiency Frontier Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(12), pages 1-14, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    biodiversity risk; environmental Kuznets curve; United States; spatial econometrics;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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