Is the eco-efficiency in greenhouse gas emissions converging among European Union countries?
Eco-efficiency refers to the ability to produce more goods and services with less impact on the environment and less consumption of natural resources. This issue has become a matter of concern that is receiving increasing attention by politicians, scientists and academics. Furthermore, greenhouse gases emitted as a result of production processes have a heavy impact in the environment and also are the foremost responsible of global warming and climate change. This paper assesses convergence in eco-efficiency from greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union (EU). Eco-efficiency is assessed at both country and greenhouse-gas-specific levels using Data Envelopment Analysis techniques and directional distance functions, as recently proposed by Picazo-Tadeo et al. (2012). Then, convergence is evaluated using the Phillips and Sul (2007) approach that allows testing for the existence of convergence groups. Although the results point to the existence of different convergence clubs depending on the specific pollutant considered, they signal the existence of, at least, four clear groups of countries. The first two groups are conformed of core EU high-income countries (Benelux, Germany, Italy, Austria, the United Kingdom and Scandinavian countries). A third club is made up of peripheral countries (Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Greece) together with some Eastern countries (Latvia, Slovenia) and the rest of clubs consists of groups containing Eastern European countries.
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- Ezcurra, Roberto, 2007. "Is there cross-country convergence in carbon dioxide emissions?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 1363-1372, February.
- Myriam Nourry, 2009. "Re-Examining the Empirical Evidence for Stochastic Convergence of Two Air Pollutants with a Pair-Wise Approach," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(4), pages 555-570, December.
- Picazo-Tadeo, Andres J. & Reig-Martinez, Ernest & Hernandez-Sancho, Francesc, 2005. "Directional distance functions and environmental regulation," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 131-142, June.
- Jobert, Thomas & Karanfil, Fatih & Tykhonenko, Anna, 2010. "Convergence of per capita carbon dioxide emissions in the EU: Legend or reality?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1364-1373, November.
- Francesc Hernandez-Sancho & Andres Picazo-Tadeo & Ernest Reig-Martinez, 2000. "Efficiency and Environmental Regulation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 15(4), pages 365-378, April.
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