The Relationship between Economic Growth and Environmental Degradation: Exploring Models and Questioning the Existence of an Environmental Kuznets Curve
Jonathan S. Skaza
Brian S. Blais
Science and Technology Department
October 28, 2013
The Center for Global and Economic Studies at Bryant University Working Paper No. 2013-05
In this paper, we explore a variety of models attempting to explain the pollution-income relationship (PIR). There has been much literature addressing the notion of an environmental Kuznets curve (EKC). Many researchers find an EKC relationship for certain pollutants, while others do not find evidence of an EKC relationship. There is also literature formally critiquing the EKC. We employ cross-sectional, panel, and time-series analysis to add insight into the relationship between economic growth and environmental degradation, a research area that is far from consensual and that has practical implications. We ultimately find that the clearest case of an EKC effect in our study arises in the analysis of organic water pollution, while there is modest evidence suggesting an EKC effect with regard to CO2, NO, and methane. We also present ample evidence suggesting an anti-EKC effect for PM10. Our analysis causes us to question the existence of an EKC effect throughout the environment in general.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 36
Keywords: Kuznets, environmental economics, economic growth, pollution
JEL Classification: Q53, Q56
Date posted: October 30, 2013 ; Last revised: December 7, 2013
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