Economic Growth and the Diffusion of Clean Technologies: Explaining Environmental Kuznets Curves

WIF Institute of Economic Research Working Paper No. 05/42

30 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2006

See all articles by Sjak Smulders

Sjak Smulders

Tilburg University - Tilburg University School of Economics and Management; University of Calgary - Department of Economics

Lucas Bretschger

ETH Zürich - CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich

Hannes Egli

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: August 2005

Abstract

Production often causes pollution as a by-product. Once environmental degradation becomes too severe, regulation is introduced by which society forces the economy to make a transition to cleaner production processes. We model this transition as a change in general purpose technology and investigate how it interferes with economic growth driven by quality-improvements. The model gives an explanation for the inverted U-shaped pollution-income relation found in empirical research for many pollutants (Environmental Kuznets Curve). We provide an analytical foundation for the claim that the rise and decline of pollution can be explained by policy-induced technology shifts and intrasectoral changes.

Keywords: Environmental Kuznets curve, general purpose technology, growth

JEL Classification: O41, Q20

Suggested Citation

Smulders, Jacobus (Sjak) A. and Bretschger, Lucas and Egli, Hannes, Economic Growth and the Diffusion of Clean Technologies: Explaining Environmental Kuznets Curves (August 2005). WIF Institute of Economic Research Working Paper No. 05/42. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=887323 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.887323

Jacobus (Sjak) A. Smulders (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Tilburg University School of Economics and Management ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 2920 (Phone)
+31 13 466 3042 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uvt.nl/webwijs/english/show.html?anr=801585&lang=en

University of Calgary - Department of Economics ( email )

2500 University Drive, NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
Canada

Lucas Bretschger

ETH Zürich - CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich ( email )

Zürichbergstrasse 18
Zurich, 8092
Switzerland

Hannes Egli

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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