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Economic growth and the diffusion of clean technologies : explaining environmental Kuznets

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Abstract

Production often causes pollution as a by-product. Once environmental degra- dation becomes too severe, regulation is introduced by which society forces the economy to make a transition to cleaner production processes. We model this transition as a change in "general purpose technology" and investigate how it interferes with economic growth driven by quality-improvements. The model gives an explanation for the inverted U-shaped pollution-income relation found in empirical research for many pollutants (Environmental Kuznets Curve). We provide an analytical foundation for the claim that the rise and decline of pol- lution can be explained by policy-induced technology shifts and intrasectoral changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Sjak Smulders & Lucas Bretschger & Hannes Egli, 2005. "Economic growth and the diffusion of clean technologies : explaining environmental Kuznets," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 05/42, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:eth:wpswif:05-42
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    1. Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Trajtenberg, M., 1995. "General purpose technologies 'Engines of growth'?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 83-108, January.
    2. Ederington Josh & Levinson Arik & Minier Jenny, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Pollution Havens," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-24, November.
    3. Stern, David I., 2004. "The Rise and Fall of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1419-1439, August.
    4. Sjak Smulders, 1995. "Entropy, environment, and endogenous economic growth," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 2(2), pages 319-340, August.
    5. Lieb, Christoph M., 2002. "The environmental Kuznets curve and satiation: a simple static model," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(03), pages 429-448, July.
    6. William Brock & M. Taylor, 2010. "The Green Solow model," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 127-153, June.
    7. Andreoni, James & Levinson, Arik, 2001. "The simple analytics of the environmental Kuznets curve," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 269-286, May.
    8. Martin Jänicke & Manfred Binder & Harald Mönch, 1997. "‘Dirty industries’: Patterns of change in industrial countries," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(4), pages 467-491, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Di Maria, Corrado & Valente, Simone, 2006. "The Direction of Technical Change in Capital-Resource Economies," MPRA Paper 1040, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Theo Eicher & Jeff Begun, 2008. "In Search of a Sulphur Dioxide Environmental Kuznets Curve: A Bayesian Model Averaging Approach," Working Papers UWEC-2007-19-P, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
    3. Valente, Simone, 2008. "Intergenerational transfers, lifetime welfare, and resource preservation," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(01), pages 53-78, February.
    4. Hannes Egli & Thomas Steger, 2007. "A Dynamic Model of the Environmental Kuznets Curve: Turning Point and Public Policy," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 36(1), pages 15-34, January.
    5. Simone Valente, 2006. "Trade, Envy and Growth: International Status Seeking in a Two-Country World," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 06/53, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    6. Donatella Baiardi, 2012. "Innovation and the environmental Kuznets curve: the case of CO, NMVOCs and SOx in the Italian regions," Quaderni di Dipartimento 156, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods.
    7. Grischa Perino, 2008. "The merits of new pollutants and how to get them when patents are granted," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 40(3), pages 313-327, July.
    8. Katsuyuki Shibayama & Iain Fraser, 2014. "Nonhomothetic Growth Models For The Environmental Kuznets Curve," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55, pages 919-942, August.
    9. Dinda, Soumyananda, 2004. "Environmental Kuznets Curve: An Envelope of Technological Progress," MPRA Paper 28092, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2010.
    10. Sunghoon Chung, 2012. "Environmental Regulation and the Pattern of Outward FDI: An Empirical Assessment of the Pollution Haven Hypothesis," Departmental Working Papers 1203, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
    11. Karen Pittel, 2006. "A Kuznets Curve for Recycling," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 06/52, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    12. Andrade, André Luiz, 2009. "CO2 e crescimento econômico: uma análise para as emissões dos combustíveis líquidos de origem fóssil no Brasil
      [CO2 and economic growth: An analysis for emissions from burning fossil fuels in liqui
      ," MPRA Paper 15313, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Naeem Akram, 2012. "Is climate change hindering economic growth of Asian economies?," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 19(2), pages 1-18, December.
    14. repec:pje:journl:article13sumiii is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental Kuznets curve; general purpose technology; growth; intrasectoral shifts;

    JEL classification:

    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General

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