Grazing the Commons: Global Carbon Emissions Forever?

50 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2011 Last revised: 2 Dec 2013

Bertrand Melenberg

Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER)

Herman R.J. Vollebergh

PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (Bilthoven); Tilburg Unversity ; CESifo Institute; Tilburg Sustainability Centre; Tilburg University - Center and Faculty of Economics and Business Administration

Elbert Dijkgraaf

Erasmus University Rotterdam, SEOR-ECRi; Tinbergen Institute

Date Written: March 2, 2011

Abstract

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

Melenberg, Bertrand and Vollebergh, Herman R.J. and Dijkgraaf, Elbert, Grazing the Commons: Global Carbon Emissions Forever? (March 2, 2011). CentER Discussion Paper No. 2011-020. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1774823 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1774823

Bertrand Melenberg (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Center for Economic Research (CentER) ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 2730 (Phone)

Herman R.J. Vollebergh

PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (Bilthoven) ( email )

Antonie van Leeuwenhoeklaan 9
Bilthoven, 3721 MA
Netherlands
+31655736920 (Phone)

Tilburg Unversity ( email )

Tilburg
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://people.few.eur.nl/vollebergh/

CESifo Institute ( email )

Munich
Germany

Tilburg Sustainability Centre ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, North Brabant 5000 LE
Netherlands

Tilburg University - Center and Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Elbert Dijkgraaf

Erasmus University Rotterdam, SEOR-ECRi ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
H 7-34
Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
+31 10 4082590 (Phone)
+31 10 4089650 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecri.nl

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

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