An Inverse Global Environmental Kuznets Curve
This paper articulates the necessity of emphasizing the absolute level of environmental degradation in different countries as a guide to understanding the links between such degradation and economic development. We argue the case for developing a composite environmental degradation index (EDI) and relating it to a better measure (in comparison to per capita income) of economic development, viz. the HDI with a view to developing a Global EKC (GEKC) across 174 countries. We put forward a methodology that would achieve this end. This has necessitated the use of principal components analysis to extract information and for forming an index of global environmental degradation. This index has then been related to the HDI. Some other conclusions of the paper are as follows. First, there seems to be an inverse link between HDI ranks and EDI. Second, the US alone has a highly disproportionate (adverse) influence on all the six environmental degradation indicators. Therefore, in the design of a regulatory mechanism for global environmental management this factor would have to be recognized explicitly. In the extant literature there is no consensus about the empirical basis for global environmental degradation (GED). All along the two contending views only try to verify whether or not an inverted U shaped EKC exists. Even if we agree that an inverted U shaped EKC does not exist it does not follow that an inverted N shaped global EKC exists. Our study argues precisely that an inverted N shaped global EKC does indeed exist and provides empirical support for this position. In the process we discover extreme inequalities in the contribution of low, medium and high country groups to GED with the low country group effectively ameliorating GED and the high group countries exacerbating it. There are several important implications of the results of this paper and a few of these may be mentioned here. First, it provides a framework for assessing the current state of environmental degradation and its distribution world-wide. Thus, it would provide important inputs to a global agency like a WEO that would be interested in monitoring environmental degradation and its geographical distribution. Second, by relating such degradation to HDI, this relationship would highlight the contributions of countries with different levels of human development and assist in assigning liability. The contention that GED is essentially 'caused' by a certain type of development characteristic of high (income) development countries is borne out by the results of this study. These conclusions clarify that the first and foremost concern of global environmental management, and the WEO, should be to reckon with the inequality in global environment degradation and its intrinsic relationship with inequalities across countries in levels of economic development.
|Date of creation:||2001|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +61 2 6125 4705
Fax: +61 2 6125 5448
Web page: https://crawford.anu.edu.au/acde/publications/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Hettige, Hemamala & Mani, Muthukumara & Wheeler, David, 1998. "Industrial pollution in economic development: Kuznets revisited," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1876, The World Bank.
- 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.
- Stern, David I. & Common, Michael S. & Barbier, Edward B., 1996. "Economic growth and environmental degradation: The environmental Kuznets curve and sustainable development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(7), pages 1151-1160, July.
- P Ekins, 1997. "The Kuznets curve for the environment and economic growth: examining the evidence," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 29(5), pages 805-830, May.
- Raghbendra Jha & John Whalley, 1999.
"The Environmental Regime in Developing Countries,"
NBER Working Papers
7305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stern, David I. & Common, Michael S., 2001.
"Is There an Environmental Kuznets Curve for Sulfur?,"
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management,
Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 162-178, March.
- David I. Stern & Tony Auld & Michael S. Common & Kali K. Sanyal, 1998. "Is there an environmental Kuznets curve for sulfur?," Working Papers in Ecological Economics 9804, Australian National University, Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, Ecological Economics Program.
- Werner Antweiler & Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 1998.
"Is Free Trade Good for the Environment?,"
NBER Working Papers
6707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Arrow, Kenneth & Bolin, Bert & Costanza, Robert & Dasgupta, Partha & Folke, Carl & Holling, C.S. & Jansson, Bengt-Owe & Levin, Simon & Mäler, Karl-Göran & Perrings, Charles & Pimentel, David, 1996.
"Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment,"
Environment and Development Economics,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 104-110, February.
- Arrow, Kenneth & Bolin, Bert & Costanza, Robert & Dasgupta, Partha & Folke, Carl & Holling, C. S. & Jansson, Bengt-Owe & Levin, Simon & Maler, Karl-Goran & Perrings, Charles & Pimentel, David, 1995. "Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 91-95, November.
- Shafik, Nemat & Bandyopadhyay, Sushenjit, 1992. "Economic growth and environmental quality : time series and cross-country evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 904, The World Bank.
- Panayotou, Theodore, 1997. "Demystifying the environmental Kuznets curve: turning a black box into a policy tool," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 465-484, November.
- Suri, Vivek & Chapman, Duane, 1998. "Economic growth, trade and energy: implications for the environmental Kuznets curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 195-208, May.
- Broad, Robin, 1994. "The poor and the environment: Friends or foes?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 811-822, June.
- Henry Kaiser, 1958. "The varimax criterion for analytic rotation in factor analysis," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 187-200, September.
- 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.
- 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.
- William Harbaugh & Arik Levinson & David Wilson, 2000. "Reexamining the Empirical Evidence for an Environmental Kuznets Curve," Working Papers gueconwpa~00-00-07, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
- 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.
- Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Selden, Thomas M., 1995. "Stoking the fires? CO2 emissions and economic growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 85-101, May.
- de Bruyn, S. M. & van den Bergh, J. C. J. M. & Opschoor, J. B., 1998. "Economic growth and emissions: reconsidering the empirical basis of environmental Kuznets curves," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 161-175, May.
- de Bruyn, S. M. & Opschoor, J. B., 1997. "Developments in the throughput-income relationship: theoretical and empirical observations," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 255-268, March.
- Rothman, Dale S., 1998. "Environmental Kuznets curves--real progress or passing the buck?: A case for consumption-based approaches," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 177-194, May.
- Costanza, Robert, 1995. "Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 89-90, November.
- Heggestad, Arnold A & Rhoades, Stephen A, 1976. "Concentration and Firm Stability in Commercial Banking," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 58(4), pages 443-52, November.
- 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.
- Sigrid Stagl, 1999. "Delinking Economic Growth from Environmental Degradation? A Literature Survey on the Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis," Working Papers geewp06, Vienna University of Economics and Business Research Group: Growth and Employment in Europe: Sustainability and Competitiveness.
- Beckerman, Wilfred, 1992. "Economic growth and the environment: Whose growth? whose environment?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 481-496, April.
- Ruttan, Vernon W., 1994. "Constraints on the design of sustainable systems of agricultural production," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 209-219, August.
- Moomaw, William R. & Unruh, Gregory C., 1997. "Are environmental Kuznets curves misleading us? The case of CO2 emissions," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(04), pages 451-463, November.
- Ekins, Paul, 1993. "'Limits to growth' and 'sustainable development': grappling with ecological realities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 269-288, December.
- Lopez Ramon, 1994. "The Environment as a Factor of Production: The Effects of Economic Growth and Trade Liberalization," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 163-184, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pas:papers:2001-02. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sandra Zec)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.