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Reexamining the Empirical Evidence for an Environmental Kuznets Curve

  • William Harbaugh
  • Arik Levinson
  • David Wilson

This paper uses an updated and revised panel data set on ambient air pollution in cities world-wide to examine the robustness of the evidence for the existence of an inverted U-shaped relationship between national income and pollution. We test the sensitivity of the pollution-income relationship to functional forms, to additional covariates, and to changes in the nations, cities, and years sampled. We find that the results are highly sensitive to these changes. We conclude that there is little empirical support for an inverted-U-shaped relationship between several important air pollutants and national income in these data.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7711.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7711.

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Date of creation: May 2000
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Publication status: published as 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.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7711
Note: PE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Stokey, Nancy L, 1998. "Are There Limits to Growth?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 1-31, February.
  2. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli, 1995. "A Positive Model of Growth and Pollution Controls," NBER Working Papers 5205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Selden Thomas M. & Song Daqing, 1995. "Neoclassical Growth, the J Curve for Abatement, and the Inverted U Curve for Pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 162-168, September.
  5. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Thomas M. Selden, 1992. "Stoking the Fires? Co2 Emissions and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Beckerman, Wilfred, 1992. "Economic growth and the environment: Whose growth? whose environment?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 481-496, April.
  7. James Andreoni & Arik Levinson, 1998. "The Simple Analytics of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," NBER Working Papers 6739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Shafik, Nemat, 1994. "Economic Development and Environmental Quality: An Econometric Analysis," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 757-73, Supplemen.
  10. Hilton, F. G. Hank & Levinson, Arik, 1998. "Factoring the Environmental Kuznets Curve: Evidence from Automotive Lead Emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 126-141, March.
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