Grazing the Commons: Global Carbon Emissions Forever?
50 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2011 Last revised: 2 Dec 2013
Date Written: March 2, 2011
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.
Keywords: CO2 Emissions, Environmental Kuznets Curve, Panel Data, (Semi) Parametric Estimation
JEL Classification: C33, O50, Q40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation