Improving the Environment for a Greener Future
New Horizons in Environmental Economics series
Chapter 3: Pollution, Natural Resources, and Economic Growth
INTRODUCTION There is abundant empirical literature on the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC). Yandle et al. (2004) summarize the literature of many pollutants. The estimated turning-point incomes are shown in Table 3.1, which shows cases of inverted U-curves. For example, Grossman and Krueger (1995) find an EKC relationship for 11 of the 14 indicators. Other studies find a monotonically increasing, decreasing, or S-shaped curve. In particular, many researchers find a simple linear relationship between income and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Recent empirical studies use updated and revised data and find that the common EKC results are highly sensitive to changes in nations, cities, and years sampled (for example, Harbaugh et al., 2002). Harbaugh et al. use city-level data from 19–45 countries and conclude that there is little Table 3.1 Estimated turning point of peak of selected pollutants (2003 US$) EKC turning point $ 13,000–19,400 $ 25,600–41,000 $ 24,800–25,500 $ 25,500–29,700 $ 3,400 $ 12,300–13,600 $ 25,300–30,400 $ 12,800 Source Millimet et al. (2003) Cole et al. (1997) Cole et al. (1997) Cole et al. (1997) Grossman and Krueger (1995) Cole et al. (1997) Cole et al. (1997) Grossman and Krueger (1995) Pollutant Nitrogen oxides Nitrates Nitrogen oxide (industrial) Nitrogen oxide (transport) Nitrates Suspended particulates (nontransport) Suspended particulates (transport) Biological oxygen demand Note: Millimet et al. (2003) focus on US data, Cole et al. (1997) on OECD data, and Grossman and Krueger (1995) on GEMS data. 44 M2644 -...