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Environmental Kuznets Curve for CO2 emission: A survey of empirical literature

Shahbaz, Muhammad and Sinha, Avik (2019): Environmental Kuznets Curve for CO2 emission: A survey of empirical literature. Published in: Journal of Economics Studies , Vol. 46, No. 1 (2019): pp. 106-168.


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This paper provides a survey of the empirical literature on Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) estimation of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions over the period of 1991-2017. This survey categorizes the studies on the basis of single country and cross-country contexts. It has been hypothesized that the EKC is an inverted U-shaped association between economic growth and CO2 emissions. For both single country and cross-country contexts, the results of EKC estimation for CO2 emissions are inconclusive in nature. The reasons behind this discrepancy can be attributed to the choice of contexts, time period, explanatory variables, and methodological adaptation. The future studies in this context should not only consider new set of variables (e.g., corruption index, social indicators, political scenario, energy research and development expenditures, foreign capital inflows, happiness, population education structure, public investment towards alternate energy exploration, etc.), but also the dataset should be refined, so that the EKC estimation issues raised by Stern (2004) can be addressed.

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