Grazing the Commons: Global Carbon Emissions Forever?
Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER)
Herman R.J. Vollebergh
Tilburg Sustainability Centre; PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency; Tilburg University - Center and Faculty of Economics and Business Administration; Erasmus University Rotterdam - Department of Economics
Erasmus University Rotterdam, SEOR-ECRi; Tinbergen Institute
March 2, 2011
CentER Discussion Paper No. 2011-020
This paper presents the results from our investigation of the per-capita, long-term relation between carbon dioxide emissions and gross domestic product (GDP) for the world, obtained with the use of a new, flexible estimator. Consistent with simple economic growth models, we find that regional, population-weighted per-capita emissions systematically increase with income (scale effect) and usually decline over time (composition and technology effect). Both our in-sample results and out-of-sample scenarios indicate that this negative time effect is unlikely to compensate for the upward-income effect at a global level, in the near future. In particular, even if China's specialization in carbon-intensive industrial sectors would come to a halt, recent trends outside China make a reversal of the overall global trend very unlikely.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 50
Keywords: CO2 Emissions, Environmental Kuznets Curve, Panel Data, (Semi) Parametric Estimation
JEL Classification: C33, O50, Q40
Date posted: March 3, 2011 ; Last revised: December 2, 2013
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