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Country-specific environmental Kuznets curves: a random coefficient approach applied to high-income countries

  • Eugenio Figueroa
  • Roberto Pastén

    ()

Cross-country estimations of the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) to empirically analyze the relationship between income and pollution have generally assumed a common structure for all countries. Since this latter feature is not supported by economic theory, this paper uses the Random Coefficient Model proposed by Swamy (1970) and empirically estimates EKCs for sulfur dioxide with specific turning points from a sample of 73 high and low income countries. A crucial aspect is that there are large differences between the estimated turning points of the EKCs for the different countries in the sample, which points to the relevance of using the approach employed here since assuming a common structure for all countries erroneously hides this relevant empirical feature. Moreover, the analysis of the structure of the EKCs estimated suggests that regulatory processes resembling market mechanisms could induce the empirical emergence of EKCs. Finally, taking into consideration the most recent concerns in the literature, we econometrically checked, on the one hand, for the validity of the usual theoretical assumption of exogeneity of the per capita income variable in the EKC relationship and, on the other hand, for an eventual structural change causing the sign change in the pollution-per capita income relationship of the EKC. The weak exogeneity and the structural break test employed rendered plausible that income per capita is really the driver variable determining the EKC relationship found.

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Article provided by University of Chile, Department of Economics in its journal Estudios de Economia.

Volume (Year): 36 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 Year 2009 (June)
Pages: 5-32

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Handle: RePEc:udc:esteco:v:36:y:2009:i:1:p:5-32
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.uchile.cl/

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  1. Andreoni, James & Levinson, Arik, 2001. "The simple analytics of the environmental Kuznets curve," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 269-286, May.
  2. Blackman, Allen & Harrington, Winston, 1998. "Using Alternative Regulatory Instruments to Control Fixed Point Air Pollution in Developing Countries: Lessons from International Experience," Discussion Papers dp-98-21, Resources For the Future.
  3. Arrow, Kenneth & Bolin, Bert & Costanza, Robert & Dasgupta, Partha & Folke, Carl & Holling, C.S. & Jansson, Bengt-Owe & Levin, Simon & Mäler, Karl-Göran & Perrings, Charles & Pimentel, David, 1996. "Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 104-110, February.
  4. Jean-Philippe Barde, 1994. "Economic Instruments in Environmental Policy: Lessons from the OECD Experience and their Relevance to Developing Economies," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 92, OECD Publishing.
  5. Costanza, Robert, 1995. "Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 89-90, November.
  6. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:14:y:2005:i:1:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Cole, Matthew A., 2003. "Development, trade, and the environment: how robust is the Environmental Kuznets Curve?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(04), pages 557-580, October.
  8. Dinda, Soumyananda, 2004. "Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis: A Survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 431-455, August.
  9. Cole, M.A. & Rayner, A.J. & Bates, J.M., 1997. "The environmental Kuznets curve: an empirical analysis," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 401-416, November.
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