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The Environmental Kuznets Curve: Implications of Non-Stationarity

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  • Roger Perman

    () (Department of Economics, University of Strathclyde)

  • David I. Stern

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

Abstract

In this paper, we apply time series techniques for panel data to the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) model. Within the literature that estimates emissions-income relations in the EKC context, little attention has been paid to the time series properties of the data and in particular to whether the variables could be integrated time series. We estimate the EKC for sulphur emissions using a panel data set for 74 countries over 30 years. Using individual unit root tests, we find that both sulphur emissions and GDP per capita are integrated variables in the majority of countries. This result is confirmed by panel unit root tests that find that the panel series are integrated. Individual cointegration tests show that EKC relations in most countries do not cointegrate. Results of a number of panel cointegration statistics are mixed. Even if there is cointegration in the panel many of the individual EKC functions are U shaped or monotonic in income. There is no single cointegrating vector common to all countries. The results show that the EKC may be a problematic concept, as simple global EKC models are misspecified.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger Perman & David I. Stern, 1999. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve: Implications of Non-Stationarity," Working Papers in Ecological Economics 9901, Australian National University, Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, Ecological Economics Program.
  • Handle: RePEc:anu:wpieep:9901
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    2. Kumar Narayan, Paresh & Smyth, Russell, 2007. "Are shocks to energy consumption permanent or temporary? Evidence from 182 countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 333-341, January.
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    4. Juan Antonio Duro & Jordi Teixidó-Figueras & Emilio Padilla, 2014. "The causal factors of international inequality in co2 emissions per capita: a regression-based inequality decomposition analysis," Working Papers 2014/20, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
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    14. Tom Verbeke & M. De Clercq, 2003. "The income-environment relationship: Does a logit model offer an alternative empirical strategy?," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 03/192, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    15. Piaggio, Matías & Padilla, Emilio, 2012. "CO2 emissions and economic activity: Heterogeneity across countries and non-stationary series," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 370-381.
    16. Stern, David I. & Common, Michael S., 2001. "Is There an Environmental Kuznets Curve for Sulfur?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 162-178, March.
    17. Galeotti, Marzio & Lanza, Alessandro & Pauli, Francesco, 2006. "Reassessing the environmental Kuznets curve for CO2 emissions: A robustness exercise," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 152-163, April.
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