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The Environmental Kuznets Curve: Tipping Points, Uncertainty and Weak Identification

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  • Jean-Thomas Bernard
  • Michael Gavin
  • Lynda Khalaf
  • Marcel Voia

Abstract

We consider an empirical estimation of the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) for carbon dioxide and sulphur, with a focus on confidence set estimation of the tipping point. Various econometric – parametric and nonparametric – methods are considered, reflecting the implications of persistence, endogeneity, the necessity of breaking down our panel regionally, and the small number of countries within each panel. In particular, we propose an inference method that corrects for potential weak-identification of the tipping point. Weak identification may occur if the true EKC is linear while a quadratic income term is nevertheless imposed into the estimated equation. Relevant literature to date confirms that non-linearity of the EKC is indeed not granted, which provides the motivation for our work. Viewed collectively, our results confirm an inverted U-shaped EKC in the OECD countries but generally not elsewhere, although a local-pollutant analysis suggest favorable exceptions beyond the OECD. Our measures of uncertainty confirm that it is difficult to identify economically plausible tipping points. Policy-relevant estimates of the tipping point can nevertheless be recovered from a local-pollutant long-run or non-parametric perspective.

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  • Jean-Thomas Bernard & Michael Gavin & Lynda Khalaf & Marcel Voia, 2011. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve: Tipping Points, Uncertainty and Weak Identification," Cahiers de recherche CREATE 2011-4, CREATE.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:creacr:2011-4
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    2. Alexandra-Anca Purcel, 2020. "New insights into the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis in developing and transition economies: a literature survey," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 22(4), pages 585-631, October.
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    5. Zaman, Khalid & Moemen, Mitwali Abd-el., 2017. "Energy consumption, carbon dioxide emissions and economic development: Evaluating alternative and plausible environmental hypothesis for sustainable growth," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 1119-1130.
    6. Choumert, Johanna & Combes Motel, Pascale & Dakpo, Hervé K., 2013. "Is the Environmental Kuznets Curve for deforestation a threatened theory? A meta-analysis of the literature," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 19-28.
    7. K. Herve DAKPO & Pascale COMBES MOTEL & Johanna CHOUMERT, 2012. "The environmental Kuznets curve for deforestation: a threatened theory? A meta-analysis," Working Papers 201216, CERDI.
    8. Panagiotis Fotis & Michael Polemis, 2018. "Sustainable development, environmental policy and renewable energy use: A dynamic panel data approach," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(6), pages 726-740, November.
    9. Sugiawan, Yogi & Managi, Shunsuke, 2016. "The environmental Kuznets curve in Indonesia: Exploring the potential of renewable energy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 187-198.
    10. Marzieh Ronaghi & Michael Reed & Sayed Saghaian, 2020. "The impact of economic factors and governance on greenhouse gas emission," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 22(2), pages 153-172, April.
    11. Jean-Thomas Bernard & Ba Chu & Lynda Khalaf & Marcel Voia, 2019. "Non-Standard Confidence Sets for Ratios and Tipping Points with Applications to Dynamic Panel Data," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 134, pages 79-108.
    12. El Ouardighi, Fouad & Kogan, Konstantin & Boucekkine, Raouf, 2017. "Optimal Recycling Under Heterogeneous Waste Sources and the Environmental Kuznets Curve," ESSEC Working Papers WP1711, ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School.
    13. Philippe Polomé & Jérôme Trotignon, 2016. "Amazonian Deforestation, Environmental Kuznets Curve and Deforestation Policy: A Cointegration Approach," Working Papers halshs-01274854, HAL.
    14. Nadia Hanif & Noman Arshed & Osama Aziz, 2020. "On interaction of the energy: Human capital Kuznets curve? A case for technology innovation," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 22(8), pages 7559-7586, December.
    15. Ferris, J. Stephen & Voia, Marcel C., 2015. "The effect of federal government size on private economic performance in Canada: 1870–2011," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 172-185.
    16. Martinangeli, Andrea & Zoli, Mariangela, 2013. "Exploring Environmentally Significant Behaviors in a Multidimensional Perspective," Working Papers in Economics 561, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    17. Maralgua Och, 2017. "Empirical Investigation of the Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis for Nitrous Oxide Emissions for Mongolia," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 7(1), pages 117-128.
    18. Chang, Chun-Ping & Dong, Minyi & Sui, Bo & Chu, Yin, 2019. "Driving forces of global carbon emissions: From time- and spatial-dynamic perspectives," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 70-80.
    19. Lazăr, Dorina & Minea, Alexandru & Purcel, Alexandra-Anca, 2019. "Pollution and economic growth: Evidence from Central and Eastern European countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 1121-1131.
    20. Ming-Chieh Wang & Chang-Sheng Wang, 2018. "Tourism, the environment, and energy policies," Tourism Economics, , vol. 24(7), pages 821-838, November.
    21. Jiang, Lei & He, Shixiong & Zhong, Zhangqi & Zhou, Haifeng & He, Lingyun, 2019. "Revisiting environmental kuznets curve for carbon dioxide emissions: The role of trade," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 245-257.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental Kuznets Curve; Fieller method; Delta method; CO2 and SO2 emissions; Confidence set; Tipping point; Climate policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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