Inderscience Publishers

The use of the environmental Kuznets curve: environmental and economic implications

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The environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis postulates an inverted-U-shaped relationship between different pollutants and per capita income, i.e., environmental pressure increases up to a certain level as income grows and then it decreases. This paper reviews some theoretical developments and empirical studies dealing with this phenomenon. In particular, it is argued that the optimistic implications of this literature on the sustainability management are not grounded. However, the analysis allows clarification of a few basic conditions for managing sustainable development, including the sustainability of globalisation. These conditions can be met by implementing a consistent policy aimed at shifting Kuznets relations, when downward.

Keywords: economic growth, environmental Kuznets curve, environmental quality, environmental protection, inverted-U-shape, environmental pollution, pollutants, per capita income, sustainable development, sustainability, globalisation

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