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The Relationship between Economic Growth and Environmental Degradation: Exploring Models and Questioning the Existence of an Environmental Kuznets Curve

The Center for Global and Economic Studies at Bryant University Working Paper No. 2013-05

36 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2013 Last revised: 7 Dec 2013

Jonathan S. Skaza

Bryant University

Brian S. Blais

Science and Technology Department

Date Written: October 28, 2013

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Kuznets, environmental economics, economic growth, pollution

JEL Classification: Q53, Q56

Suggested Citation

Skaza, Jonathan S. and Blais, Brian S., The Relationship between Economic Growth and Environmental Degradation: Exploring Models and Questioning the Existence of an Environmental Kuznets Curve (October 28, 2013). The Center for Global and Economic Studies at Bryant University Working Paper No. 2013-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2346173 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2346173

Jonathan S. Skaza (Contact Author)

Bryant University ( email )

1150 Douglas Pike
Smithfield, RI 02917-1284
United States

Brian S. Blais

Science and Technology Department ( email )

1150 Douglas Pike
Smithfield, RI 02917-1284
United States

HOME PAGE: http://web.bryant.edu/~bblais

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