Inderscience Publishers

Economic development and environmental quality: a cross-section analysis for Asian countries

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The paper aims to explore emissions of SO
2
, NO
2
and SPM along with few other emissions in Asian countries in 2007. The countries considered for the study are China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The environmental Kuznets’ curve (EKC) is applied to explore the relationship between economic development measured in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and the different air quality parameters for Asian economies. The study has made use of multiple linear and quadratic regression and EKC hypothesis at country level in Asia using cross sectional data. We find that trade tends to reduce three measures of air pollution SO
2
, NO
2
and SPM. Statistical significance is high for SO
2
concentration, followed by NO
2
concentration. Although results for other environmental measures are not so encouraging, there is little evidence that trade has a detrimental effect on the environment in the Asian region. There are very few studies being conducted exclusively for Asian countries. This research will be helpful for policy makers, politicians and businessmen working on environmental issues.

Keywords: economic development, environmental quality, Asian countries, air pollution, environmental Kuznets’ curve, EKC

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