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Democratic Institutions and Environmental Quality: Effects and Transmission Channels

  • Kinda, Somlanare Romuald

This paper aims at analysing the effect of democratic institutions on environmental quality (carbon dioxide per capita, sulfure dioxide per capita) and at identifying potential channel transmissions. We use panel data from 1960 to 2008 in 122 developing and developed countries and modern econometric methods. The results are as follows: Firstly, we show that democratic institutions have opposite effects on environment quality: a positive direct effect on environment quality and a negative indirect effect through investments and income inequality. Indeed, democratic institutions attract investments that hurt environment quality. Moreover, as democratic institutions reduce income inequality, they also damage environment. Secondly, we find that the direct negative effect of democratic institutions is higher for local pollutant (SO2) than for global pollutant (CO2). Thirdly, the nature of democratic institutions (presidential, parliamentary) is not conducive to environmental quality. Fourtly, results suggest that the direct positive effect of democratic institutions on environment quality is higher in developed countries than in developing countries. Thus, the democratic process in the first group of countries has increased their awareness for the environment protection.

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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics in its series Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 with number 46.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec11:46
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  1. 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.
  2. Rodrik, Dani & Alesina, Alberto, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4551798, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
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  8. Mark Gradstein & Branko Milanovic & Yvonne Ying, 2001. "Democracy and Income In-Equality: An Empirical Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 411, CESifo Group Munich.
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  13. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521855266 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Barrett, Scott & Graddy, Kathryn, 2000. "Freedom, growth, and the environment," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(04), pages 433-456, October.
  15. Pastor, Manuel Jr. & Hilt, Eric, 1993. "Private investment and democracy in Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 489-507, April.
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