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The Ups and Downs of the Environmental Kuznets Curve

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Abstract

By now the observation that some pollutants appear to increase and then decrease with economic development has become a widely accepted stylized fact. This paper argues that the fundamental insight of the empirical literature is merely that pollution does not necessarily increase with economic growth, and that the fundamental insight of the theoretical literature is that the observed inverse-U-shaped pollution-income relationship is neither necessary nor sufficient for Pareto-efficient environmental policies. Furthermore, the inverse-U-shaped path is not unique to environmental phenomenon, and may exist wherever a desirable good generates an undesirable side-effect. Finally, all of these points can be made without most of the econometric or theoretical mechanics that fill this literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Arik Levinson, 2001. "The Ups and Downs of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," Working Papers gueconwpa~01-01-08, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~01-01-08
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    9. 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.
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    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. 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.
    15. 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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    1. Modelo de Robinson Crusoé Sustentável
      by Guilherme Byrro Lopes in Economia e Finanças Fáceis on 2011-08-27 17:00:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Vladimir Kühl Teles & Ronaldo A. Arraes, 2004. "Environmental Protection And Economic Growth," Anais do XXXII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 32nd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 044, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    2. Nektarios Aslanidis & Anastasios Xepapadeas, "undated". "Regime Switching and the Shape of the," Working Papers 0206, University of Crete, Department of Economics, revised 31 Mar 2003.
    3. Anil Markandya & Alexander Golub & Suzette Pedroso-Galinato, 2006. "Empirical Analysis of National Income and SO 2 Emissions in Selected European Countries," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 35(3), pages 221-257, November.
    4. Aslanidis Nektarios, 2009. "Environmental Kuznets curves for carbon emissions: A critical survey," wp.comunite 0051, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    5. Galeotti, Marzio & Manera, Matteo & Lanza, Alessandro, 2006. "On the Robustness of Robustness Checks of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," Climate Change Modelling and Policy Working Papers 12045, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    6. Lee J. Alston & Bernardo Mueller, 2007. "Legal Reserve Requirements in Brazilian Forests: Path Dependent Evolution of De Facto Legislation," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 8(4), pages 25-53.
    7. Marzio Galeotti, 2003. "Environment and Economic Growth: Is Technical Change the Key to Decoupling?," Working Papers 2003.90, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    8. Andrée, Bo Pieter Johannes & Chamorro, Andres & Spencer, Phoebe & Koomen, Eric & Dogo, Harun, 2019. "Revisiting the relation between economic growth and the environment; a global assessment of deforestation, pollution and carbon emission," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 1-1.
    9. Marzio Galeotti & Matteo Manera & Alessandro Lanza, 2009. "On the Robustness of Robustness Checks of the Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(4), pages 551-574, April.
    10. Marzio Galeotti, 2003. "Economic Development and Environmental Protection," Working Papers 2003.89, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    11. Nektarios Aslanidis, 2009. "Environmental Kuznets Curves for Carbon Emissions: A Critical Survey," Working Papers 2009.75, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    12. Nektarios Aslanidis & Anastasios Xepapadeas, 2004. "Smooth ‘inverted-V-shaped’ & smooth ‘N-shaped’ pollution-income paths," Working Papers 0405, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
    13. Ho, Mun & Wang, Zhongmin, 2014. "Green Growth (for China): A Literature Review," RFF Working Paper Series dp-14-22, Resources for the Future.

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