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Carbon Intensities of Economies from the Perspective of Learning Curves

Author

Listed:
  • Henrique Pacini

    (Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden
    United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Switzerland)

  • Semida Silveira

    (Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden
    United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Switzerland)

Abstract

While some countries have achieved considerable development, many others still lack accessto the goods and services considered standard in the modern society. As CO2 emissions and development are often correlated, this paper employs the theoretical background of the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) and the learning curves toolkit to analyze how carbon intensities have changed as countries move towards higher development (and cumulative wealth) levels. The EKC concept is then tested with the methodology of learning curves for the period between 1971 and 2010, so as to capture a dynamic picture of emissions trends and development. Results of both analyses reveal that empirical data fails to provide direct evidence of an EKC for emissions and development. The data does show, however, an interesting pattern in the dispersion of emissions levels for countries within the same HDI categories. While data does not show that countries grow more polluting during intermediary development stages, it does provide evidence that countries become more heterogeneous in their emission intensities as they develop, later re-converging to lower emission intensities at higher HDI levels. Learning rates also indicate heterogeneity among developing countries and relative convergence among developed countries. Given the heterogeneity of development paths among countries, the experiences of those which are managing to develop at low carbon intensities can prove valuable examples for ongoing efforts in climate change mitigation, especially in the developing world.

Suggested Citation

  • Henrique Pacini & Semida Silveira, 2013. "Carbon Intensities of Economies from the Perspective of Learning Curves," Challenges in Sustainability, Librello publishing house, vol. 1(2), pages 94-103.
  • Handle: RePEc:lib:000cis:v:1:y:2013:i:2:p:94-103
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Serrano, Mònica & Dietzenbacher, Erik, 2010. "Responsibility and trade emission balances: An evaluation of approaches," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 2224-2232, September.
    2. Dinda, Soumyananda, 2004. "Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis: A Survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 431-455, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    carbon emissions; development; EKC; learning curves;

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • F64 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Environment
    • F68 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Policy
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • R4 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics
    • Y3 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Book Reviews
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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