Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 221–257 | Cite as

Empirical Analysis of National Income and SO2 Emissions in Selected European Countries

  • Anil MarkandyaEmail author
  • Alexander Golub
  • Suzette Pedroso-Galinato


The linkage between per capita GDP and sulfur emissions for 12 Western European countries was analyzed over a period of more than 150 years. The analysis also looked at the impact of air pollution regulations on the shape of the income–pollution relationship. At both the aggregate and country levels, we find an inverted U-shaped relationship and the estimated turning points of most countries are plausible. In addition, environmental regulations are found to lower the EKC and they can also shift the turning point of the curve. In some cases, the shift is to the left and in a few to the right.

Key words

environmental Kuznets curve panel data regulation sulfur dioxide Western Europe 

JEL Classification

C23 O11 Q25 Q28 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



A version of this paper was presented at the Environmental and Resource Economists’ Conference in Budapest, in June 2004. We would like to thank participants there for useful comments, which improved the paper. We also thank our colleague Tim Taylor for his suggestions on how to interpret the results. Finally, we thank two anonymous referees who provided valuable comments that have also resulted in a better final product. No one apart from ourselves is, of course, responsible for any errors.


  1. Ansuategi A. (2003). Economic Growth and Transboundary Pollution in Europe: An Empirical Analysis. Environmental and Resource Economics 26:305–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arrow K., Bolin B., Costanza R., Dasgupta P., Folke C., Holling C., Jansson B., Levin S., Mäler K., Perrings C., Pimentel D. (1995). Economic Growth, Carrying Capacity, and the Environment. Ecological Economics 15(2):91–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cole M., Rayner A., Bates J. (1997). The Environmental Kuznets Curve: An Empirical Analysis. Environment and Development Economics 2(4):401–416CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Copeland B. R., Scott Taylor M. (2004). Trade, Growth and the Environment. Journal of Economic Literature 42:7–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dasgupta S., Laplante B., Wang H., Wheeler D. (2002). Confronting the Environmental Kuznets Curve. Journal of Economic Perspectives 16(1):147–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. De Bruyn S. (1997), Explaining the Environmental Kuznets Curve: Structural Change and International Agreements in Reducing Sulphur Emissions. Environment and Development Economics 2:485–503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. European Union (2005), ‘Activities of the European Union: Summaries of Legislation – Environment’. Last accessed on September 2005:
  8. Greene W. H. (1993). Econometric Analysis 2nd edition. USA, Macmillan Publishing CompanyGoogle Scholar
  9. Grossman G., Krueger A. (1993). Environmental Impacts of the North American Free Trade Agreement. In: Garber P. (eds), U.S.-Mexico Free Trade Agreement. Cambridge, MIT Press, pp. 20Google Scholar
  10. Grossman G., Krueger A. (1995). Economic Growth and the Environment. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 110(2):353–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gujarati D. N. (1995). Basic Econometrics, 3rd edition. USA, McGraw-Hill, IncGoogle Scholar
  12. Halkos G. E. (2003). Environmental Kuznets Curve for Sulfur: Evidence using GMM estimation and random coefficient panel data models. Environment and Development Economics 8:581–601CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kennedy P. (1998). A Guide to Econometrics, 4th edition. UK, TJ InternationalGoogle Scholar
  14. Leeson J. D. (1995). Environmental Law. Great Britain, PitmanGoogle Scholar
  15. Lepohn A. S., Janja D. H., Rudolf B. H. (1999). Estimating Historical Anthropogenic Global Sulfur Emission Patterns for the Period 1860–1990. Atmospheric Environment 33:2435–2444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Levinson, A. (2000), ‘The Ups and Downs of the Environmental Kuznets Curve’, A Paper prepared for the UCF/CentER Conference on Environment (Florida)Google Scholar
  17. Maddison A. (1995). Monitoring the World Economy. Paris, Organization for Economic Cooperation and DevelopmentGoogle Scholar
  18. Maddison, A. (2005), ‘Historical Statistics: World Population, GDP and Per Capita GDP, 1-2001 AD’. Last accessed on September 2005 at:∼Maddison/
  19. Manning, A. (1993), ‘A Study of the Legislative Controls of Atmospheric Pollution’, Last accessed on November 2004 at:
  20. McEldowney J. F., McEldowney S. (1996). Environment and the Law: An Introduction for Environmental Scientists and Lawyers. Great Britain, Addison Wesley LongmanGoogle Scholar
  21. Mylona S. (1996). Sulfur Dioxide Emissions in Europe 1880–1991 and their Effect on Sulfur Concentrations and Depositions. Tellus 48B:662–689Google Scholar
  22. OECD (2004 and various years), Environmental Data Compendium. Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation and DevelopmentGoogle Scholar
  23. Panayotou T. (1997). Demystifying the Environmental Kuznets Curve: Turning a Black Box into a Policy Tool. Environment and Development Economics 2:465–484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Prais, S. and C. Winsten (1954), ‘Trend Estimation and Serial Correlation’, Discussion Paper 383. Chicago: Cowles CommissionGoogle Scholar
  25. Rock M. (1996). Pollution Intensity of GDP and Trade Policy: Can the World Bank be Wrong?. World Development 24:471–479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sandnes, H. (1993), ‘Calculated Budgets for Airborne Acidifying Components in Europe, 1985–1992’, EMEP/MSC-W Report 1/93. Norway: Meteorological Synthesizing Center-West, The Norwegian Meteorological InstituteGoogle Scholar
  27. Selden T., Song D. (1994). Environmental Quality and Development: Is there a Kuznets Curve for Air Pollution?. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 27:147–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Shafik, N. and S. Bandyopadhyay (1992), ‘Economic Growth and Environmental Quality’, Background Paper for the 1992 World Development Report and World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 904. Washington, DC: The World BankGoogle Scholar
  29. Stern D. (1998). Progress on the Environmental Kuznets Curve?. Environment and Development Economics 3:173–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Stern, D. (2005a), ‘Global Sulfur Emissions by Country, 1850–2003’. Last accessed on September 2005 at:∼sternd/datasite.html
  31. Stern D. (2005b). Global Sulfur Emissions from 1850–2001. Chemosphere 58:163–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Stern, D. (2005c), ‘Reversal in the Trend of Global Anthropogenic Sulfur Emissions’, Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0504. USA: Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteGoogle Scholar
  33. Stern D., Common M. (2001). Is there an Environmental Kuznets Curve for Sulfur?. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 41:162–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Stern D., Common M., Barbier E. (1996). Economic Growth and Environmental Degradation: The Environmental Kuznets Curve and Sustainable Development. World Development 24(7):1151–1160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (2005), ‘Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution’. Last accessed on September 2005 at:

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anil Markandya
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Alexander Golub
    • 3
  • Suzette Pedroso-Galinato
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Economics and International DevelopmentUniversity of BathClaverton DownUK
  2. 2.Foundation Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM)MilanItaly
  3. 3.Environmental DefenseWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.The World BankWashingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations