Empirical Economics

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 1049-1071

First online:

A smooth coefficient model of carbon emissions

  • Michael S. DelgadoAffiliated withDepartment of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University Email author 

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I use a semiparametric smooth coefficient model to estimate a generalization of the emissions convergence models derived from the green Solow model proposed by Brock and Taylor (J Econ Growth 15:127–153, 2010). Parametric estimates of simple homogeneous coefficient convergence models suggest that there may be heterogeneity in emissions convergence across different subsamples of observations. The semiparametric models confirm that there is heterogeneity across countries in coefficient estimates; however, such heterogeneity does not appear to be substantial enough to qualitatively influence the estimates derived from the parametric models. Hence, I find that (i) the green Solow model is a robust framework for analyzing carbon emissions convergence and (ii) carbon emissions are converging across a large sample of countries. My results suggest that international agreements that assign pollution rights based on population levels may be agreeable to many nations.


Smooth coefficients Semiparametric estimation Carbon convergence Climate policy