Democracy, Income, and Environmental Quality

This Working Paper considers the role of democracy in environmental quality and the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC). Some studies in the EKC literature have examined the extent to which democratic nations are more or less apt to have improving environmental conditions, but they have drawn from static measures of a nation’s current regime. In this paper the authors examine panel data from 1960 to 2001 and analyze the extent to which both the current level and the stock of a country’s democracy have significant and independent effects on a nation’s sulfur and carbon dioxide emissions.While they find no evidence for the short-run effect of the current level of democracy, they do find strong evidence that long-term democracy stock helps lower sulfur and carbon dioxide emissions.

 

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