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Growth and the pollution convergence hypothesis: a nonparametric approach

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Abstract

The pollution-convergence hypothesis is formalized in a neoclassical growth model with optimal emissions reduction: pollution growth rates are positively correlated with output growth (scale effect) but negatively correlated with emission levels (defensive effect). This dynamic law is empirically tested for two major and regulated air pollutants - nitrogen oxides (NOX) and sulfur oxides (SOX) - with a panel of 25 European countries spanning over years 1980-2005. Traditional parametric models are rejected by the data. However, more flexible regression techniques - semiparametric additive specifications and fully nonparametric regressions with discrete and continuous factors - confirm the existence of the predicted positive and defensive effects. By analyzing the spatial distributions of per capita emissions, we also show that cross-country pollution gaps have decreased over the period for both pollutants and within the Eastern as well as the Western European areas. A Markov modeling approach predicts further cross-country absolute convergence, in particular for SOX. The latter results hold in the presence of spatial non-convergence in per capita income levels within both regions.

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  • Carlos Ordás Criado & Simone Valente & Thanasis Stengos, 2009. "Growth and the pollution convergence hypothesis: a nonparametric approach," CEPE Working paper series 09-66, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:cee:wpcepe:09-66
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    Cited by:

    1. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Antonio Musolesi, 2013. "A Nonlinear Analysis of CO2-Income Relation for Advanced Countries," Working Papers 2013072, University of Ferrara, Department of Economics.
    2. Musolesi Antonio & Mazzanti Massimiliano, 2014. "Nonlinearity, heterogeneity and unobserved effects in the carbon dioxide emissions-economic development relation for advanced countries," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 18(5), pages 1-21, December.
    3. Cherniwchan, Jevan, 2012. "Economic growth, industrialization, and the environment," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 442-467.
    4. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Antonio Musolesi, 2013. "Nonlinearity, Heterogeneity and Unobserved Effects in the CO2-income Relation for Advanced Countries," Working Papers 2013.91, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    5. Sylvie Charlot & Riccardo Crescenzi & Antonio Musolesi, 2014. "Augmented and Unconstrained: revisiting the Regional Knowledge Production Function," SEEDS Working Papers 2414, SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies, revised Aug 2014.
    6. Longhi, C. & Musolesi, A. & Baumont, C., 2013. "Modeling the industrial dynamics of the European metropolitan areas during the process of economic integration: a semiparametric approach," Working Papers 2013-10, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Air pollution; convergence; economic growth; mixed nonparametric regressions; distribution dynamics;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

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