An Empirical Study of the Impact of Corruption on Environmental Performance: Evidence from Panel Data
Posted: 30 Oct 2017
Date Written: October 2017
This paper extends the empirical debate on the effects of corruption on environmental degradation by considering a recently available measure of environmental quality, the Environmental Performance Index. This indicator is more comprehensive than the measures of air pollutant emissions commonly used in the literature and, in particular, can also capture the impact of pollution on human health. This allows for a better understanding of the actual effects of a wide range of human activities on the ecosystem. From a panel data analysis, two regularities emerge. First, corruption deteriorates the overall environmental quality. This effect is robust and persistent. Second, our findings highlight the improvement of environmental quality as income rises, even at an initial level of development. This is not in contradiction with the EKC hypothesis because an increase in income levels provides positive externalities on the whole environmental quality by compensating the mere negative effects induced by industrialization on the emission levels. As a consequence, in emerging economies, policies fighting corruption and enhancing development are very likely to improve the environmental performances.
Keywords: Corruption; EKC; Pollution; Panel Data; Panel VAR
JEL Classification: C23; D73; O44; Q56
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