Air Pollution and Per Capita Income: A Disaggregation of the Effects of Scale, Sectoral Composition, and Technological Change

During the last decade, researchers have investigated the relationship between per capita income and environmental quality. This paper disaggregates the relationship between per capita income and emissions of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and volatile organic compounds into scale, composition and technology effects, using data from European and North American countries from the period 1980-1986. Results indicate that the scale effect outweighs the composition and technology effects in the cases of carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds, while the opposite is true in the cases of carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide. The results also suggest that greater democracy is associated with lower emissions of all four pollutants.

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