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Energy Prices and Turning Points: The Relationship between Income and Energy Use/Carbon Emissions

Amy K. Richmond and Robert K. Kaufmann

Year: 2006
Volume: Volume 27
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol27-No4-7
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Models used to test whether an environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) can be used to describe the relationship between GDP and energy use and/or carbon emissions may be biased by the omission of energy prices. Here we include real energy prices and fuel shares in models that describe energy use and carbon emissions. We test if these models show a turning point in OECD countries. Results indicate that including energy prices eliminates statistical support for a turning point and suggest that the relationship between income and both energy use and carbon emissions is represented most accurately by diminishing returns. These results imply that economic growth per se will not reduce energy use or emissions that cause global climate change.

Energy and Carbon Dynamics at Advanced Stages of Development: An Analysis of the U.S. States, 1960-1999

Joseph E. Aldy

Year: 2007
Volume: Volume 28
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol28-No1-5
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This paper explores the relationships among per capita income, energy consumption, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by focusing on a set of economies at advanced stages of development, the U.S. states. Energy consumption and emissions grew 50�60 percent on average over the 1960�1999 period. The states� per capita energy consumption and emissions have grown on average 2 percent annually. The energy consumption income elasticity is positive but decreasing in income, although energy production takes an inverted-U shape, reflecting the electricity imports among high income states. The standard CO2 measure, corresponding to energy production, is characterized by an inverted-U environmental Kuznets curve. Adjusting emissions for interstate electricity trade yields an emissions-income relationship that peaks and plateaus. The carbon intensity of energy declines with income for total energy consumption and the industrial, residential, and commercial sectors.

Neoclassical Growth, Environment and Technological Change: The Environmental Kuznets Curve

Santiago J. Rubio, Jose L. Garcia and Jose L. Hueso

Year: 2009
Volume: Volume 30
Number: Special Issue #2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol30-NoSI2-7
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This paper investigates socially optimal patterns of economic growth and environmental quality in a neoclassical growth model with endogenous technological progress. In the model, environmental quality has a positive effect not only on utility but also on production. Moreover, cleaner technologies can be used in the economy if a part of the output is used in environmentally oriented R&D. In this framework, if the initial level of capital is low, then the shadow price of a cleaner technology is low in relation to the cost of developing it, given by the marginal utility of consumption, and it is not worth investing in R&D. Thus, there will be a first stage of growth based only on the accumulation of capital with environmental quality decreasing until there is enough pollution to make investing in R&D profitable. After this turning point, if the new technologies are efficient enough, the economy can evolve along a balanced growth path with increasing environmental quality. The result is that the optimal investment pattern supports an environmental Kuznets curve.

Governance, Environmental Vulnerability, and PM2.5 Concentrations: International Evidence

Thai-Ha Le, Youngho Chang, and Donghyun Park

Year: 2021
Volume: Volume 42
Number: Number 6
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.42.6.thle
View Abstract

We extend the EKC framework to examine the role of governance quality and environmental vulnerability in PM2.5 concentrations using a global panel dataset of 128 countries between 2000 and 2014. The results show that governance and education reduce PM2.5 concentrations while environmental vulnerability increases the concentrations. Promoting good governance and education as well as reducing environmental vulnerability can thus contribute to cleaner air. We find qualitatively similar results for the sub-sample of high-income countries, but governance has relatively weaker or insignificant effects for the sub-samples of upper-middle-income and lower-middle-and-low-income countries. High-income countries have strong institutional frameworks that facilitate enforcement of environmental regulations, which are conducive for protecting air quality, whereas other countries have relatively weak institutional capacity. This suggests a need for substantial economic, technological, and financial support from the international community for strengthening the environmental institutional capacity of developing countries.

The Energy Kuznets Curve: Evidence from Developed and Developing Economies

Imad A. Moosa and Kelly Burns

Year: 2022
Volume: Volume 43
Number: Number 6
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.43.6.imoo
View Abstract

The energy environmental Kuznets curve is effectively an environmental Kuznets curve augmented by adding one or more energy-related variables. We suggest that the energy Kuznets curve (EKC) can be estimated separately from the conventional environmental Kuznets curve as a quadratic function of income. It is demonstrated that the environmental Kuznets curve implies and is implied by the EKC. The empirical results show consistently that both the environmental and EKC are valid for developed (high income) countries but not so for developing (low income) countries where the relations are positive and monotonic. The importance of considering energy consumption in conjunction with the environmental Kuznets curve is that economic growth on its own does not put an end to environmental degradation unless the underlying country is on the downward-sloping sections of both the environmental and EKC.

Are Autocracies Bad for the Environment? Global Evidence from Two Centuries of Data

Apra Sinha, Ashish Kumar Sedai, Abhishek Kumar, and Rabindra Nepal

Year: 2023
Volume: Volume 44
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.44.2.asin
View Abstract

Reducing carbon dioxide emissions is crucial for reducing the danger posed by climate change. There are factors for and against democracies in achieving these desired reductions. Using data from 150 countries, we estimate the marginal emission intensity (i.e., the change in per-capita carbon dioxide emissions for a unit change in per-capita income) across autocracies and democracies. We use regional waves of democratization and mean per-capita income of other countries in the region as instruments for democracy and per-capita income, respectively. Using these instruments, we obtain the causal estimate of the difference in marginal emission intensity and confirm that democracies have lower per-capita carbon dioxide emissions per unit increase in per-capita income compared to autocracies. Our results suggest that these benefits of democracies have occurred in recent decades, following the surge in public concerns about climate change and intergovernmental initiatives to reduce emissions. There is also evidence to suggest that strengthening rule enforcement and improving access to justice can be critical in decreasing carbon dioxide emissions.

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