Income Heterogeneity and Environmental Kuznets Curve in Africa
Journal of Sustainable Development; Vol. 7, No. 4; 2014
16 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2014
Date Written: August 5, 2014
The Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis asserts that pollution levels rises as a country develops, but reaches a certain threshold where pollution begins to fall with increasing income. In EKC analysis, the relationship between environmental degradation and income is usually expressed as a quadratic function with turning point occurring at a maximum pollution level. This study seeks to examine the pattern and nature of EKC in Africa and major income groups according to World Bank classification comprising low income, lower middle income and upper middle income in Africa. In ensuring the robustness of our study; the paper proceeded by ascertaining the nature of EKC in all fifty-three countries of Africa in order to confirm the results obtained from basic and augmented EKC model. The study could not validate EKC hypothesis in Africa (combined), low income and upper middle income but empirical and analytical evidences supports the existence of EKC in lower middle income countries. Likewise, evidences from the robustness checks confirmed the findings from the basic and augmented EKC model. The study could not attain a reasonable turning point as there are evidences that Africa could be turning on the EKC at lower levels of income. Also, there is need to strengthen institutions in order to enforce policies that prohibits environmental pollution and ensure pro-poor development agenda.
Keywords: Pollution, income, Environmental Kuznets Curve, Africa
JEL Classification: Q5, O4, Q1, N17
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