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Is there an environmental Kuznets curve for sulfur?

  • David I. Stern

    (Australian National University, Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies)

  • Tony Auld

    ()

    (Australian National University, National Centre for Development Studies)

  • Michael S. Common

    ()

    (University of Strathclyde)

  • Kali K. Sanyal

    ()

    (Australian National University, Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies)

The environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis proposes that there is an inverted U-shape relation between environmental degradation and income per capita. Various explanations for this phenomenon have been put forward and some authors argue that important explanatory variables are omitted from conventional EKC estimates. Inclusion of these omitted variables is argued to increase the estimated "turning point" - the level of GDP per capita above which environmental degradation is declining. In this paper we use a new cross-section/time-series data base of sulfur emissions for a wide range of developed and developing countries. The methodology involves estimating EKCs for subsets of this database as well as for the sample as a whole. The results show that estimating an EKC using data for only the OECD countries, as has often been the case, leads to estimates where the turning point is at a much lower level than when the EKC is estimated using data for the World as a whole. The paper explores possible explanations of these results using Monte Carlo analysis, and other statistical tests.We conclude that the simple EKC model is fundamentally misspecified and that there are omitted variables which are correlated with GDP.

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File URL: http://een.anu.edu.au/download_files/eep9804.pdf
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Paper provided by Australian National University, Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, Ecological Economics Program in its series Working Papers in Ecological Economics with number 9804.

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Date of creation: May 1998
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Handle: RePEc:anu:wpieep:9804
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://incres.anu.edu.au/EEP/wp.html

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  1. Panayotou, Theodore, 1997. "Demystifying the environmental Kuznets curve: turning a black box into a policy tool," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 465-484, November.
  2. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
  3. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  4. De Bruyn, Sander M., 1997. "Explaining the environmental Kuznets curve: structural change and international agreements in reducing sulphur emissions," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 485-503, November.
  5. Unruh, G. C. & Moomaw, W. R., 1998. "An alternative analysis of apparent EKC-type transitions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 221-229, May.
  6. Stern, David I. & Common, Michael S. & Barbier, Edward B., 1996. "Economic growth and environmental degradation: The environmental Kuznets curve and sustainable development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(7), pages 1151-1160, July.
  7. Gene M. Grossman & Alan B. Krueger, 1991. "Environmental Impacts of a North American Free Trade Agreement," NBER Working Papers 3914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Gene M. Grossman & Alan B. Krueger, 1994. "Economic Growth and the Environment," NBER Working Papers 4634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Shafik, Nemat, 1994. "Economic Development and Environmental Quality: An Econometric Analysis," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 757-73, Supplemen.
  11. Engle, Robert F & Granger, Clive W J, 1987. "Co-integration and Error Correction: Representation, Estimation, and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 251-76, March.
  12. Stern , David I., 1998. "Progress on the environmental Kuznets curve?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 173-196, May.
  13. Vincent, Jeffrey R., 1997. "Testing for environmental Kuznets curves within a developing country," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 417-431, November.
  14. Panayotou T, 1993. "Empirical tests and policy analysis of environmental degradation at different stages of economic development," ILO Working Papers 292778, International Labour Organization.
  15. Kaufmann, Robert K. & Davidsdottir, Brynhildur & Garnham, Sophie & Pauly, Peter, 1998. "The determinants of atmospheric SO2 concentrations: reconsidering the environmental Kuznets curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 209-220, May.
  16. Moomaw, William R. & Unruh, Gregory C., 1997. "Are environmental Kuznets curves misleading us? The case of CO2 emissions," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 451-463, November.
  17. Selden Thomas M. & Song Daqing, 1994. "Environmental Quality and Development: Is There a Kuznets Curve for Air Pollution Emissions?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 147-162, September.
  18. 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.
  19. Shafik, Nemat & Bandyopadhyay, Sushenjit, 1992. "Economic growth and environmental quality : time series and cross-country evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 904, The World Bank.
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