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Cultural and Political Determinants of Air Quality

Author

Listed:
  • Francisca Guedes de Oliveira

    () (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão - Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Porto)

  • Alexandra Leitão

    () (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão - Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Porto)

Abstract

This paper investigates empirically the determinants of air quality in a large cross-section of countries. We assess air quality by sulfur emissions and, following the literature, we consider three different groups of determinants: economic, political and cultural. We confirm the existence of an EKC for sulfur (inverted-U shaped relation between wealth and pollution). Political determinants are proxied by ethnic or religious fractionalization indexes and the country’s legal origin (we consider five possible legal origins: English common law, French civil law, German civil law, Scandinavian legal system and Socialist legal system). Cultural determinants are assessed by the percentage of a country’s population that belongs to one of the three main religions (Catholic, Muslim or Protestant). Our goal is to establish the economic, political and cultural profile of a country that manages to be efficient in providing good air quality. We conclude that a country will provide higher air quality if it has one or more of the following characteristics: it is ethnic and/or religious homogeneous, it has a German or Scandinavian legal tradition; it is Protestant.

Suggested Citation

  • Francisca Guedes de Oliveira & Alexandra Leitão, 2012. "Cultural and Political Determinants of Air Quality," Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers) 01, Católica Porto Business School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa.
  • Handle: RePEc:cap:wpaper:012012
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Air quality; political determinants; cultural determinants; environmental efficiency;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • H89 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Other
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q59 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Other

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