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Environmental and Public Health Outcomes: An International and Historical Comparison


  • Don Coursey
  • Christopher Hartwell


What factors determine the environmental and quality of life conditions that exist in different regions of the world? What factors can explain how these conditions evolve through time? This paper empirically examines the answers to these questions, focusing on the link between economic freedom and environmental quality, using information about the historical experiences of 130 countries over the interval of the years 1960 through 1992. An important conclusion from this analysis is that more repressive regimes on average have more environmental degradation. Across the board, governments that were rated as having less economic and political freedom consistently had higher levels of emissions and poorer public health indicators.

Suggested Citation

  • Don Coursey & Christopher Hartwell, 2000. "Environmental and Public Health Outcomes: An International and Historical Comparison," Working Papers 0010, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:har:wpaper:0010

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