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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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    File URL: http://www.porto.ucp.pt/feg/repec/WP/012012-Oliveira-Cultural_and_Political_Determinants_of_Air_Quality.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
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    3. Guido Tabellini, 2010. "Culture and Institutions: Economic Development in the Regions of Europe," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 677-716, June.
    4. Bernauer, Thomas & Koubi, Vally, 2009. "Effects of political institutions on air quality," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 1355-1365, March.
    5. David I. Stern, 2014. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve: A Primer," CCEP Working Papers 1404, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    6. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
    7. Smith, Vincent H. & Kehoe, Michael R. & Cremer, Mary E., 1995. "The private provision of public goods: Altruism and voluntary giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 107-126.
    8. repec:hrv:faseco:30747160 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Barrett, Scott & Graddy, Kathryn, 2000. "Freedom, growth, and the environment," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(04), pages 433-456, October.
    10. John Asafu-Adjaye, 2003. "Biodiversity Loss and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Analysis," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(2), pages 173-185, April.
    11. Robert J. Barro & Rachel McCleary, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Air quality; political determinants; cultural determinants; environmental efficiency;

    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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