Inderscience Publishers

Re–examining the growth–emissions nexus: does the latecomer advantage alter the environmental Kuznets curve?

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The Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis describes an inverted U–shaped relationship between environmental quality indicators and per capita income. In comparison to previous studies on the EKC, this paper tests for the potential advantage of latecomer economies. It is presumed that latecomers will learn from the more efficient pollution abatement technologies employed by their predecessors. Thus, it is predicted that they will attain lower levels of environmental damage than their industrial predecessors at the same income level. To investigate this, this paper uses the contextual case of East Asian economies. In summary, the results imply that not all countries with a latecomer status in the industrialisation process could benefit from being 'late' in environmental deterioration issues.

Keywords: EKC, environmental Kuznets curve, latecomer advantage, environmental quality indicators, per capita income, latecomer economies, pollution abatement, efficiency, East Asia, industrialisation, environmental pollution, economic growth, emissions

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