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To What Extent is Asian Economic Growth Harmful for the Environment?*


  • Luca Molinas

    (The United Nations World Food Programme, Office of Executive Director for Policy, Planning and Strategy, Rome.)


This article aims at challenging the Neo-Malthusian hypothesis of incompatibility between demographic growth and preservation of the environment in developing countries. This theoretical hypothesis has been tested here on an empirical data set referring to a specific environmental variable and to a specific developing country. The case study covers the projected increase in carbon dioxide emissions in India in the period 2003-2030. The contributions of the demographic, economic and technological variables are calculated relative to the growth in carbon dioxide emissions through the IPAT model. The results confirm the hypothesis that the Neo-Malthusian paradigm is not appropriate to explain the demographic impact on the environmental variable in Asian economies. Instead, evidence has been provided to consider that the main determinant for environmental impact is still going to be economic growth.L’objectif de cette communication est d’évaluer la validité de l’hypothèse néo-malthusienne selon laquelle il existe une incompatibilité entre la croissance démographique et la préservation de l’environnement dans les pays en voie de développement Nous testons cette hypothèse théorique en utilisant un ensemble de données empiriques relatives à une variable environnementale et à un pays en voie de développement spécifiques. L’étude de cas s’intéresse à l’augmentation prévue des émissions de gaz carbonique en Inde, entre 2003 et 2030. Les contributions des variables démographiques, économiques et technologiques à l’augmentation des émissions de dioxyde de carbone sont calculées au moyen d’un modèle IPAT. Les résultats confirment que le paradigme néo-malthusien ne convient pas pour expliquer l’impact de la population sur l’environnement dans les économies asiatiques. Au contraire, ils démontrent que le principal déterminant de l’impact environnemental reste la croissance économique.

Suggested Citation

  • Luca Molinas, 2010. "To What Extent is Asian Economic Growth Harmful for the Environment?*," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 22(1), pages 118-134, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:22:y:2010:i:1:p:118-134

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