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Globalization as a driver or bottleneck for sustainable development. General tendencies and European implications

Tausch, Arno (2011): Globalization as a driver or bottleneck for sustainable development. General tendencies and European implications.

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Abstract

This article looks at the long-term, structural determinants of environmental performance in the world system. In multiple standard OLS regression models, we test the effects of 26 standard predictor variables, including the ‘four freedoms’ of goods, capital, labour and services, on the following indicators of sustainable development

• avoiding net trade of ecological footprint gha per person • Carbon emissions per million US dollars GDP • CO2 per capita • Environmental Performance Index (EPI) • Global footprint per capita • Happy Life Years • Happy Planet Index • ln (number of people per mill inhabitants 1980-2000 killed by natural disasters per year+1)

Our research shows that the apprehensions of quantitative globalization critical research are fully vindicated by the significant negative environmental effects of the foreign savings rate. High foreign savings are indeed a driver of global footprint, and are a blockade against a satisfactory Happy Planet Index performance. The New International Division of Labour (NIDL)-model (Froebel et al., 1980) is one of the prime drivers of high CO2 per capita emissions. MNC penetration, the master variable of most quantitative dependency theories, blocks environmental performance (EPI-Index) and several other socially important processes. Worker remittances have a significant positive effect on the Happy Planet Index, and Happy Life Years.

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