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Ecological Footprint Inequality across countries: the role of environment intensity, income and interaction effects

  • Teixidó Figueras, Jordi
  • Duro Moreno, Juan Antonio

Recently, White (2007) analysed the international inequalities in Ecological Footprints per capita (EF hereafter) based on a two-factor decomposition of an index from the Atkinson family (Atkinson (1970)). Specifically, this paper evaluated the separate role of environment intensity (EF/GDP) and average income as explanatory factors for these global inequalities. However, in addition to other comments on their appeal, this decomposition suffers from the serious limitation of the omission of the role exerted by probable factorial correlation (York et al. (2005)). This paper proposes, by way of an alternative, a decomposition of a conceptually similar index like Theil’s (Theil, 1967) which, in effect, permits clear decomposition in terms of the role of both factors plus an inter-factor correlation, in line with Duro and Padilla (2006). This decomposition might, in turn, be extended to group inequality components (Shorrocks, 1980), an analysis that cannot be conducted in the case of the Atkinson indices. The proposed methodology is implemented empirically with the aim of analysing the international inequalities in EF per capita for the 1980-2007 period and, amongst other results, we find that, indeed, the interactive component explains, to a significant extent, the apparent pattern of stability observed in overall international inequalities. Key words: ecological footprint; international environmental distribution; inequality decomposition

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2072/203169
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Paper provided by Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2072/203169.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:urv:wpaper:2072/203169
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  1. Bourguignon, Francois, 1979. "Decomposable Income Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 901-20, July.
  2. van den Bergh, Jeroen C. J. M. & Verbruggen, Harmen, 1999. "Spatial sustainability, trade and indicators: an evaluation of the 'ecological footprint'," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 61-72, April.
  3. Duro, Juan Antonio & Padilla, Emilio, 2006. "International inequalities in per capita CO2 emissions: A decomposition methodology by Kaya factors," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 170-187, March.
  4. Steinberger, Julia K. & Krausmann, Fridolin & Eisenmenger, Nina, 2010. "Global patterns of materials use: A socioeconomic and geophysical analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 1148-1158, March.
  5. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-25, April.
  6. Duro Moreno, Juan Antonio, 2010. "On the automatic application of inequality indexes in the analysis of the international distribution of environmental indicators," Working Papers 2072/151617, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  7. Jordi Teixidó-Figueras & Juan Antonio Duro, 2012. "Ecological Footprint Inequality: A methodological review and some results," Working Papers XREAP2012-15, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Sep 2012.
  8. Shorrocks, A F, 1982. "Inequality Decomposition by Factor Components," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 193-211, January.
  9. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  10. White, Thomas J., 2007. "Sharing resources: The global distribution of the Ecological Footprint," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 402-410, December.
  11. Andersson, Jan Otto & Lindroth, Mattias, 2001. "Ecologically unsustainable trade," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 113-122, April.
  12. Hedenus, Fredrik & Azar, Christian, 2005. "Estimates of trends in global income and resource inequalities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 351-364, November.
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