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The Environmental Kuznets Curve from Multiple Perspectives


  • William K. Jaeger

    (Oregon State University)

  • Van Kolpin

    (University of Oregon)


The analysis finds that in addition to U-shaped paths of environmental quality arising for growth in income per capita, growth in population can also produce socially efficient patterns that are U-shaped. Sufficient conditions for both types of paths are identified for a range of models and parameters, including symmetrical models with homothetic, constant-returns functions such as with CES functions. Similar results are also shown to arise in decentralized economies under either homogeneous or heterogeneous income levels.

Suggested Citation

  • William K. Jaeger & Van Kolpin, 2008. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve from Multiple Perspectives," Working Papers 2008.38, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2008.38

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert T. Deacon & Catherine S. Norman, 2006. "Does the Environmental Kuznets Curve Describe How Individual Countries Behave?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 82(2), pages 291-315.
    2. Stern, David I. & Common, Michael S., 2001. "Is There an Environmental Kuznets Curve for Sulfur?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 162-178, March.
    3. 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.
    4. Robinson, James A. & Srinivasan, T.N., 1993. "Long-term consequences of population growth: Technological change, natural resources, and the environment," Handbook of Population and Family Economics,in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1175-1298 Elsevier.
    5. Baland, J-M & Platteau, J-P, 1997. "Wealth Inequality and Efficiency in the Commons," Papers 193, Notre-Dame de la Paix, Sciences Economiques et Sociales.
    6. Panayotou T., 1993. "Empirical tests and policy analysis of environmental degradation at different stages of economic development," ILO Working Papers 992927783402676, International Labour Organization.
    7. William T. Harbaugh & Arik Levinson & David Molloy Wilson, 2002. "Reexamining The Empirical Evidence For An Environmental Kuznets Curve," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 541-551, August.
    8. Arrow, Kenneth & Bolin, Bert & Costanza, Robert & Dasgupta, Partha & Folke, Carl & Holling, C.S. & Jansson, Bengt-Owe & Levin, Simon & Mäler, Karl-Göran & Perrings, Charles & Pimentel, David, 1996. "Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 104-110, February.
    9. Sandeep H. Patel & Thomas C. Pinckney & William K. Jaeger, 1995. "Smallholder Wood Production and Population Pressure in East Africa: Evidence of an Environmental Kuznets Curve?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 71(4), pages 516-530.
    10. Selden Thomas M. & Song Daqing, 1995. "Neoclassical Growth, the J Curve for Abatement, and the Inverted U Curve for Pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 162-168, September.
    11. Lopez Ramon, 1994. "The Environment as a Factor of Production: The Effects of Economic Growth and Trade Liberalization," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 163-184, September.
    12. 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.
    13. Bradford David F. & Fender Rebecca A & Shore Stephen H. & Wagner Martin, 2005. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve: Exploring a Fresh Specification," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-30, June.
    14. Chimeli, Ariaster B. & Braden, John B., 2005. "Total factor productivity and the environmental Kuznets curve," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 366-380, March.
    15. Alexander Pfaff & Shubham Chaudhuri & Howard Nye, 2004. "Household Production and Environmental Kuznets Curves – Examining the Desirability and Feasibility of Substitution," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 27(2), pages 187-200, February.
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    17. repec:ilo:ilowps:292778 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Chimeli, Ariaster B., 2007. "Growth and the environment: Are we looking at the right data?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 89-96, July.
    19. Stokey, Nancy L, 1998. "Are There Limits to Growth?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 1-31, February.
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    More about this item


    Environmental Kuznets Curve; Economic Growth; Environmental Quality;

    JEL classification:

    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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