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The Environmental Kuznets Curve: A Survey of the Theoretical Literature

Author

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  • Pasten, Roberto
  • Figueroa B., Eugenio

Abstract

This paper reviews and summarizes most of the literature on the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC), focusing mainly on disentangling and clarifying the key concepts underlying the two classes of existing theoretical explanations for the EKC occurrence — those driven by technology and those driven by preferences — as well as the technical formalization of such concepts. To do this, we develop a model which allows the analysis of the two types of theoretical explanations under a common theoretical framework. Using this analytical setting, we first review models with technology as the main driver of the EKC, and then we study those with preferences as the fundamental driver. Finally, we present a closed form solution for the EKC which, on the one hand, is simpler and less restrictive than previous ones in the literature and, on the other hand, helps us to highlight some of the remaining theoretical gaps and to propose some possibilities for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Pasten, Roberto & Figueroa B., Eugenio, 2012. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve: A Survey of the Theoretical Literature," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 6(3), pages 195-224, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:jirere:101.00000051
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/101.00000051
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jian-Xin Wu & Ling-Yun He, 2017. "The Distribution Dynamics of Carbon Dioxide Emissions Intensity across Chinese Provinces: A Weighted Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(1), pages 1-19, January.
    2. Emil Georgiev & Emil Mihaylov, 2015. "Economic growth and the environment: reassessing the environmental Kuznets Curve for air pollution emissions in OECD countries," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 29-47, March.
    3. repec:eee:eneeco:v:70:y:2018:i:c:p:289-296 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Stern, David I. & Gerlagh, Reyer & Burke, Paul J., 2017. "Modeling the emissions–income relationship using long-run growth rates," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(06), pages 699-724, December.
    5. Antoci, Angelo & Borghesi, Simone & Russu, Paolo & Ticci, Elisa, 2015. "Foreign direct investments, environmental externalities and capital segmentation in a rural economy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 341-353.
    6. repec:kap:jbioec:v:19:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10818-017-9243-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Sanchez, Luis F. & Stern, David I., 2016. "Drivers of industrial and non-industrial greenhouse gas emissions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 17-24.
    8. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:5:p:869-:d:99306 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Simone Borghesi & Giorgia Giovannetti & Gianluca Iannucci & Paolo Russu, 2016. "The dynamics of foreign direct investments in land and pollution accumulation," SEEDS Working Papers 1116, SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies, revised Nov 2016.
    10. Halicioglu, Ferda & Ketenci, Natalya, 2016. "The impact of international trade on environmental quality: The case of transition countries," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 1130-1138.
    11. Fernández-Amador, Octavio & Francois, Joseph F. & Oberdabernig, Doris A. & Tomberger, Patrick, 2017. "Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Economic Growth: An Assessment Based on Production and Consumption Emission Inventories," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 269-279.
    12. Stern, David I., 2014. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve: A Primer," Working Papers 249424, Australian National University, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy.
    13. Jacint Balaguer & Manuel Cantavella-Jordá, 2014. "The Effect of Economic Growth and Oil Price Variations on CO2 Emissions: Evidence from Spain (1874-2011)," Working Papers 2014/22, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    14. David I. Stern, 2017. "The environmental Kuznets curve after 25 years," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 7-28, April.
    15. Halicioglu, Ferda & Ketenci, Natalya, 2015. "The impact of international trade on environmental quality in transition countries: evidence from time series data during 1991-2013," MPRA Paper 71097, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2015.
    16. Robalino-López, Andrés & Mena-Nieto, Ángel & García-Ramos, José-Enrique & Golpe, Antonio A., 2015. "Studying the relationship between economic growth, CO2 emissions, and the environmental Kuznets curve in Venezuela (1980–2025)," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 602-614.
    17. Figueroa, Eugenio & Pastén, Roberto, 2015. "Beyond additive preferences: Economic behavior and the income pollution path," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 91-102.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental Kuznets curve; Elasticity of substitution; Economic growth;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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