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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. 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.
  3. Kahn, Matthew E., 1997. "Particulate pollution trends in the United States," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 87-107, February.
  4. J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521845731, October.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  10. David I. Stern, 2003. "The Rise and Fall of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0302, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Grossman, G.M & Krueger, A.B., 1991. "Environmental Impacts of a North American Free Trade Agreement," Papers 158, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  17. Koenker, Roger, 2004. "Quantile regression for longitudinal data," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 74-89, October.
  18. Stengos, T. & Millimet, D.L. & List, J.A., 2002. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve: Real Progress or Misspecified Models?," Working Papers 2002-13, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  19. Mody, Ashoka & Roy, Subhendu & Wheeler, David & Dasgupta, Susmita, 1995. "Environmental regulation and development : a cross-country empirical analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1448, The World Bank.
  20. 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.
  21. Hettige, Hemamala & Lucas, Robert E B & Wheeler, David, 1992. "The Toxic Intensity of Industrial Production: Global Patterns, Trends, and Trade Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 478-81, May.
  22. 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.
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