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Lessons from Quantile Panel Estimation of the Environmental Kuznets Curve

  • Carlos A. Flores

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Miami)

  • Alfonso Flores-Lagunes

    ()

    (Food and Resource Economics Department, University of Florida and IZA, Bonn, Germany)

  • Dimitrios Kapetanakis

    ()

    (Food and Resource Economics Department, Universty of Florida)

The environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesizes that the income-pollution rela- tionship has an inverted U shape: pollution increases with income up to a turning point beyond which it decreases. The empirical literature has concentrated on estimation of this relationship at the mean employing longitudinal data, with the typical ?nding supporting the inverted U shape. Conditional mean estimation, however, can mask heterogeneities present at higher and/or lower quantiles of the emissions?distribution, in addition to being more sensitive to the presence of outliers. We apply methods for conditional-quantile panel ?xed e¤ects models to the estimation of the income-pollution relationship on U.S. state-level data on NOx (nitrogen oxide) and SO2 (sulfur dioxide) pollutants over the period 1929- 1994. Our results indicate that conditional mean methods provide too optimistic estimates about emissions reduction of NOx, as conditional-quantile methods suggest that the turning point of the relationship occurs at higher values of income; while the opposite is found for SO2. Another important lesson drawn is that the income-pollution relationship is sensitive to the presence of outliers in the data.

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Paper provided by University of Miami, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2010-4.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published
Handle: RePEc:mia:wpaper:2010-4
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  1. Dinda, Soumyananda, 2004. "Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis: A Survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 431-455, August.
  2. Grossman, Gene M & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Economic Growth and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 353-77, May.
  3. Daniel L. Millimet & John A. List & Thanasis Stengos, 2003. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve: Real Progress or Misspecified Models?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 1038-1047, November.
  4. William Harbaugh & Arik Levinson & David Wilson, 2000. "Reexamining the Empirical Evidence for an Environmental Kuznets Curve," NBER Working Papers 7711, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
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  7. Grossman, Gene & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Environmental Impacts of a North American Free Trade Agreement," CEPR Discussion Papers 644, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Susmita Dasgupta & Ashoka Mody & Subhendu Roy & David Wheeler, 2001. "Environmental Regulation and Development: A Cross-country Empirical Analysis," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 173-187.
  9. Bartz, Sherry & Kelly, David L., 2008. "Economic growth and the environment: Theory and facts," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 115-149, May.
  10. Chen, Songnian & Khan, Shakeeb, 2008. "Semiparametric Estimation Of Nonstationary Censored Panel Data Models With Time Varying Factor Loads," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(05), pages 1149-1173, October.
  11. 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.
  12. Stern, David I., 2004. "The Rise and Fall of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1419-1439, August.
  13. Kahn, Matthew E., 1997. "Particulate pollution trends in the United States," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 87-107, February.
  14. List, John A. & Gallet, Craig A., 1999. "The environmental Kuznets curve: does one size fit all?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 409-423, December.
  15. Daniel L. Millimet & Esfandiar Maasoumi, 2005. "Robust inference concerning recent trends in US environmental quality," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 55-77.
  16. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
  17. Flores, Nicholas E. & Carson, Richard T., 1995. "The Relationship Between the Income Elasticities of Demand and Willingness to Pay," 1995 Conference (39th), February 14-16, 1995, Perth, Australia 148795, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  18. Kelly, David L., 2003. "On environmental Kuznets curves arising from stock externalities," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1367-1390, June.
  19. Koenker, Roger, 2004. "Quantile regression for longitudinal data," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 74-89, October.
  20. Adam B. Jaffe et al., 1995. "Environmental Regulation and the Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturing: What Does the Evidence Tell Us?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 132-163, March.
  21. Komen, Marinus H.C. & Gerking, Shelby & Folmer, Henk, 1997. "Income and environmental R D: empirical evidence from OECD countries," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 505-515, November.
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