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

Author

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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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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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    File URL: https://www.create.ulaval.ca/sites/create.ulaval.ca/files/Publications/create2011-4.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Philippe Polomé & Jérôme Trotignon, 2016. "Amazonian Deforestation, Environmental Kuznets Curve and Deforestation Policy: A Cointegration Approach," Working Papers halshs-01274854, HAL.
    4. 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.
    5. Martinangeli, Andrea & Zoli, Mariangela, 2013. "Exploring Environmentally Significant Behaviors in a Multidimensional Perspective," Working Papers in Economics 561, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    6. Elmarzougui, Eskandar & Larue, Bruno & Tamini, Lota, D., 2013. "The Environment, Trade Openness, and Domestic and Foreign Investments," MPRA Paper 61332, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2014.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    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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