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The Environmental Kuznets Curve: a Survey of the Literature

  • Simone Borghesi

    (European University Institute)

In the last few years, several studies have found an inverted-U relationship between per capita income and environmental degradation. This relationship, known as the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC), suggests that environmental degradation increases in the early stages of growth, but it eventually decreases as income exceeds a threshold level. The present paper reviews both early and recent contributions on this subject, discussing whether and to what extent such a curve can be empirically observed, and the policy implications that derive from the empirical evidence

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 1999.85.

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Date of creation: Oct 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:1999.85
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  1. Torras, Mariano & Boyce, James K., 1998. "Income, inequality, and pollution: a reassessment of the environmental Kuznets Curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 147-160, May.
  2. Unruh, G. C. & Moomaw, W. R., 1998. "An alternative analysis of apparent EKC-type transitions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 221-229, May.
  3. CARSON, RICHARd T. & JEON, YONGIL & McCUBBIN, DONALD R., 1997. "The relationship between air pollution emissions and income: US Data," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 433-450, November.
  4. de Bruyn, S. M. & van den Bergh, J. C. J. M. & Opschoor, J. B., 1998. "Economic growth and emissions: reconsidering the empirical basis of environmental Kuznets curves," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 161-175, May.
  5. Cole, M.A. & Rayner, A.J. & Bates, J.M., 1997. "The environmental Kuznets curve: an empirical analysis," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 401-416, November.
  6. Barbier, Edward B., 1997. "Introduction to the environmental Kuznets curve special issue," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 369-381, November.
  7. Selden Thomas M. & Song Daqing, 1994. "Environmental Quality and Development: Is There a Kuznets Curve for Air Pollution Emissions?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 147-162, September.
  8. Common,Michael, 1995. "Sustainability and Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521436052, October.
  9. Vincent, Jeffrey R., 1997. "Testing for environmental Kuznets curves within a developing country," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 417-431, November.
  10. Kaufmann, Robert K. & Davidsdottir, Brynhildur & Garnham, Sophie & Pauly, Peter, 1998. "The determinants of atmospheric SO2 concentrations: reconsidering the environmental Kuznets curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 209-220, May.
  11. Stern, David I. & Common, Michael S. & Barbier, Edward B., 1996. "Economic growth and environmental degradation: The environmental Kuznets curve and sustainable development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(7), pages 1151-1160, July.
  12. Beckerman, Wilfred, 1992. "Economic growth and the environment: Whose growth? whose environment?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 481-496, April.
  13. Munasinghe, Mohan, 1999. "Is environmental degradation an inevitable consequence of economic growth: tunneling through the environmental Kuznets curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 89-109, April.
  14. Komen, Marinus H.C. & Gerking, Shelby & Folmer, Henk, 1997. "Income and environmental R D: empirical evidence from OECD countries," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 505-515, November.
  15. Shafik, Nemat, 1994. "Economic Development and Environmental Quality: An Econometric Analysis," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 757-73, Supplemen.
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