EKC and Macroeconomics Aspects of Well-being: a Critical Vision for a Sustainable Future

  • Sofien TibaEmail author
  • Mohamed Frikha


This paper aims to investigate a modified version of the environmental Kuznets curve by including human development and governance as a macroeconomics determinant of sustainability. For this purpose, our study uses the Johansen panel cointegration testing to verify the existence of long-run relationships and we employed the fixed effects models which founded on the panel-based error correction ones using data for 26 African countries over the period 1990–2013. Our findings highlight that there exists a quadratic relationship among the negative genuine saving (GS−) and the human development variable. This implies that the assumed EKC hypothesis is verified for the modified version of EKC. The empirical evidence records the fact that the ecological issue in the Millennium Development Goals background is deeply influenced by the sustainability aspects. Further, our findings recommended that African countries should take seriously the human aspect. Further, the academic researchers, policymakers, and international organizations should unify around a specific and clear definition of the sustainability notion to reach a verdict consensus about his measure and the way of computing by taking into consideration the diversity and the specificities of each region.


EKC Africa Governance Human development 



  1. Ahmed, K., & Long, W. (2012). Environmental Kuznets curve and Pakistan: an empirical analysis. Procedia Economics and Finance, 1, 4–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahmed, K., & Long, W. (2013). An empirical analysis of CO2 emission in Pakistan using EKC hypothesis. Journal of International Trade Law and Policy, 12, 188–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Akbostanci, E., Türüt-AsIk, S., & Tunç, G. I. (2009). The relationship between income and environment in Turkey: is there an environmental Kuznets curve? Energy Policy, 37, 861–867.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Alam, M. J., Begum, I. A., Buysse, J., & Van Huylenbroeck, G. (2012). Energy consumption, carbon emissions and economic growth nexus in Bangladesh: cointegration and dynamic causality analysis. Energy Policy, 45, 217–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Al-mulali, U., & Sheau-ting, L. (2014). Econometric analysis of trade, exports, imports, energy consumption and CO2 emissions in six regions. Renew Sust Energ Rev, 33, 484–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Anand, S., & Sen, A. (2000). Human development and economic sustainability. World Dev, 28, 2029–2049.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ang, J. B. (2007). CO2 emissions, energy consumption, and output in France. Energy Policy, 35, 4772–4778.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ang, J. B. (2008). Economic development, pollutant emissions and energy consumption in Malaysia. J Policy Model, 30, 271–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Apergis, N., & Payne, J. E. (2009). CO2 emissions, energy usage, and output in Central America. Energy Policy, 37, 3282–3286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Apergis, N., & Payne, J. E. (2014). Renewable energy, output, CO2 emissions, and fossil fuel prices in Central America: evidence from a non linear panel smooth transition vector error correction model. Energy Econ, 42, 226–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Arouri, M. H., Ben Youssef, A., M’henni, H., & Rault, C. (2012). Energy consumption, economic growth and CO2 emissions in Middle East and North African countries. Energy Policy, 45, 342–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Atici, C. (2009). Carbon emissions in central and Eastern Europe: environmental Kuznets curve and implications for sustainable development. Sustain Dev, 17, 155–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Babu, S. S., & Datta, S. K. (2013). The relevance of environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) in a framework of broad-based environmental degradation and modified measure of growth – a pooled data analysis. Int J Sust Dev World, 20, 309–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Baek, J., & Kim, H. S. (2013). Is economic growth good or bad for the environment? Empirical evidence from Korea. Energy Econ, 36, 744–749.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ben Jebli, M., & Ben Youssef, S. (2015). The environmental Kuznets curve, economic growth, renewable and non-renewable energy, and trade in Tunisia. Renew Sust Energ Rev, 47, 173–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ben Jebli, M., Ben Youssef, S., & Ozturk, I. (2016). Testing environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis: the role of renewable and non-renewable energy consumption and trade in OECD countries. Ecol Indic, 60, 824–831.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Bölük, G., & Mert, M. (2015). The renewable energy, growth and environmental Kuznets curve in Turkey: an ARDL approach. Renew Sust Energ Rev, 52, 587–595.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Breitung, J., 2001. The local power of some unit root tests for panel data, in: Baltagi B.H., Fomby, T.B., Hill, R.C. (Eds.), Nonstationary Panels, Panel Cointegration, and Dynamic Panels (Adv Econ, Vol.15). Emerald Group Publishing Limited, United Kingdom, pp. 161–177.Google Scholar
  19. Chandran, V. G. R., & Tang, C. F. (2013). The impacts of transport energy consumption, foreign direct investment and income on CO2 emissions in ASEAN-5 economies. Renew Sust Energ Rev, 24, 445–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cho, C. H., Chu, Y. P., & Yang, H. Y. (2014). An environment Kuznets curve for GHG emissions: a panel cointegration analysis. Energy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning, and Policy, 9, 120–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Chow, G. C. (2014). Environmental Kuznets curve: conclusive econometric evidence for CO2. Pac Econ Rev, 19, 1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Coondoo, D., & Dinda, S. (2002). Causality between income and emission: a country group-specific econometric analysis. Ecol Econ, 40, 351–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Copeland, B. R., & Taylor, M. S. (1994). North-south trade and the environment. Q J Econ, 109, 755–787.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Costantini, V., & Liberati, P. (2014). Technology transfer, institutions and development. Technol Forecast Soc Chang, 88, 26–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Costantini, V., & Martini, C. (2010). A modified environmental Kuznets curve for sustainable development assessment using panel data. Int J Glob Environ Issues, 10, 84–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Costantini, V., & Monni, S. (2008). Environment, human development, and economic development. Ecol Econ, 64, 867–880.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Cowan, W. N., Chang, T., Inglesi-Lotz, R., & Gupta, R. (2013). The nexus of electricity consumption, economic growth and CO2 emissions in the BRICS countries. Energy Policy.
  28. Dasgupta, S., Laplante, B., Wang, H., & Wheeler, D. (2002). Confronting the environment Kuznets curve. J Econ Perspect, 16, 147–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Du, L., Wei, C., & Cai, S. (2012). Economic development and carbon dioxide emissions in China: provincial panel data analysis. China Econ Rev, 23, 371–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Engle, R. F., & Granger, C. W. J. (1987). Co-integration and error correction: representation, estimation, and testing. Econometrica, 55, 251–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Esteve, V., & Tamarit, C. (2012). Threshold cointegration and non linear adjustment between CO2 and income: the environmental Kuznets curve in Spain,1857– 2007. Energy Econ, 34(6), 2148–2156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Farhani, S., Chaibi, A., & Rault, C. (2014a). CO2 emissions, output, energy consumption, and trade in Tunisia. Econ Model, 38, 426–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Farhani, S., Mrizak, S., Chaibi, A., & Rault, C. (2014b). The environmental Kuznets curve and sustainability: a panel data analysis. Energy Policy, 71, 189–198. Scholar
  34. Farhani, S., Shahbaz, M., Sbia, R., & Chaibi, A. (2014c). What does MENA region initially need: grow output or mitigate CO2 emissions? Econ Model, 38, 270–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Fodha, M., & Zaghdoud, O. (2010). Economic growth and environmental degradation in Tunisia: an empirical analysis of the environmental Kuznets curve. Energy Policy, 38, 1150–1156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Fosten, J., Morley, B., & Taylor, T. (2012). Dynamic misspecification in the environmental Kuznets curve: evidence from CO2 and SO2 emissions in the United Kingdom. Ecol Econ, 76, 25–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Franklin, R., & Ruth, M. (2012). Growing up and cleaning up: the environmental Kuznets curve redux. Appl Geogr, 32(1), 29–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Friedl, B., & Getzner, M. (2003). Determinants of CO2 emissions in a small open economy. Ecol Econ, 45, 133–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Ghosh, S. (2010). Examining carbon emissions economic growth nexus for India: a multivariate cointegration approach. Energy Policy, 38, 3008–3014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Giovanis, E. (2013). Environmental Kuznets curve: evidence from the British Household Panel Survey. Econ Model, 30, 602–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Govindaraju, V. G. R. C., & Foon Tang, C. (2013). The dynamic links between CO2 emissions, economic growth and coal consumption in China and India. Appl Energy, 104, 310–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Granger, C. (1988). Some recent development in the concept of causality. J Econ, 39, 199–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Grossman, G.M., Krueger, A.B. (1991). Environmental impacts of a North American Free Trade Agreement. National Bureau of economic research working paper 3914, NBER, Cambridge MA.Google Scholar
  44. Grossman, G. M., & Krueger, A. B. (1995). Economic growth and the environment. Q J Econ, 110, 353–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Gürlük, S. (2009). Economic growth, industrial pollution and human development in the Mediterranean region. Ecol Econ, 68, 2327–2335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Halicioglu, F. (2009). An econometric study of CO2 emissions, energy consumption, income and foreign trade in Turkey. Energy Policy, 37, 1156–1164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Hamit-Haggar, M. (2012). Greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption and economic growth: a panel cointegration analysis from Canadian industrial sector perspective. Energy Econ, 34, 358–364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. He, J., & Richard, P. (2010). Environmental Kuznets curve for CO2 in Canada. Ecol Econ, 69, 1083–1093.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Hodge, T. (1997). Towards a conceptual framework for assessing progress towards sustainability. Soc Indic Res, 40, 5–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Im, K. S., Pesaran, M. H., & Shin, Y. (2003). Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels. J Econ, 115, 53–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Iwata, H., Okada, K., & Samreth, S. (2010). Empirical study on the environmental Kuznets curve for CO2 in France: the role of nuclear energy. Energy Policy, 38, 4057–4063.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Iwata, H., Okada, K., & Samreth, S. (2011). A note on the environmental Kuznets curve for CO2: a pooled mean group approach. Appl Energy, 88, 1986–1996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Iwata, H., Okada, K., & Samreth, S. (2012). Empirical study on the determinants of CO2 emissions: evidence from OECD countries. Appl Econ, 44, 3513–3519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Jalil, A., & Feridun, M. (2011). The impact of growth, energy and financial development on the environment in China: a cointegration analysis. Energy Econ, 33, 284–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Jalil, A., & Mahmud, S. F. (2009). Environment Kuznets curve for CO2 emissions: a co-integration analysis for China. Energy Policy, 3, 5167–5172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Jaunky, V. C. (2011). The CO2 emissions-income nexus: evidence from rich countries. Energy Policy, 39(3), 1228–1240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Jayanthakumaran, K., Verma, R., & Liu, Y. (2012). CO2 emissions, energy consumption, trade and income: a comparative analysis of China and India. Energy Policy, 42, 450–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Johansen, S. (1991). Estimation and hypothesis testing of cointegration vectors in Gaussian vector autoregressive models. Econometrica, 59(6), 1551–1580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Kaufman, D., Kraay, A., Mastruzzi, M., (2003). Governance matters III: governance indicators for 1996–2002. Policy Res. Work. Pap. No. 3106.Google Scholar
  60. Kivyiro, P., & Arminen, H. (2014). Carbon dioxide emissions, energy consumption, economic growth, and foreign direct investment: causality analysis for sub-Saharan Africa. Energy, 74, 595–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Kuznets, S. (1955). Economic growth and income inequality. Am Econ Rev, 45, 1–28.Google Scholar
  62. Lau, L. S., Choong, C. K., & Eng, Y. K. (2014). Carbon dioxide emission, institutional quality, and economic growth: empirical evidence in Malaysia. Renew Energy, 68, 276–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Lee, C. C., & Lee, J. D. (2009). Income and CO2 emissions: evidence from panel unit root and cointegration tests. Energy Policy, 37, 413–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Levin, A., Lin, C. F., & Chu, C. S. (2002). Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite sample properties. J Econ, 108, 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Machado, G.V. (2000). Energy use, C02 emissions and foreign trade: an input-output approach applied to the Brazilian case. Paper presented at the 13th Conference on Input Output Technique, Italy, August 21-25.Google Scholar
  66. Maddala, G. S., & Wu, S. (1999). A comparative study of unit root tests with panel data and a new simple test. Oxf Bull Econ Stat, 61, 631–652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Martinez-Zarzoso, I., & Begochea-Morancho, A. (2004). Pooled mean group estimation of an environmental Kuznets curve for CO2. Econ Lett, 82, 121–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Mensah, J. T. (2014). Carbon emissions, energy consumption and output: a threshold analysis on the causal dynamics in emerging African economies. Energy Policy, 70, 172–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Nasir, M., & Rehman, F. R. (2011). Environmental Kuznets curve for carbon emissions in Pakistan: an empirical investigation. Energy Policy, 39, 1857–1864.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Onafowora, O. A., & Owoye, O. (2014). Bounds testing approach to analysis of the environment Kuznets curve hypothesis. Energy Econ, 44, 47–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Orubu, O., & Omotor, D. G. (2011). Environmental quality and economic growth: searching for environmental Kuznets curves for air and water pollutants in Africa. Energy Policy, 39, 4178–4188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Osabuohien, E. S., Efobi, U. R., & Gitau, C. M. W. (2014). Beyond the environmental Kuznets curve in Africa: evidence from panel cointegration. J Environ Policy Plan, 16, 517–538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Ozturk, I., & Acaravci, A. (2010). CO2 emissions, energy consumption, and economic growth in Turkey. Renew Sust Energ Rev, 14, 3220–3225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Ozturk, I., & Acaravci, A. (2013). The long-run and causal analysis of energy, growth, openness and financial development on carbon emissions in Turkey. Energy Econ, 36, 262–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Pao, H. T., & Tsai, C. M. (2010). CO2 emissions, energy consumption and economic growth in BRIC countries. Energy Policy, 38, 7850–7860.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Pao, H. T., & Tsai, C. M. (2011a). Multivariate Granger causality between CO2 emissions, energy consumption, FDI (foreign direct investment) and GDP (gross domestic product): evidence from a panel of BRIC (Brazil, Russian Federation, India, and China) countries. Energy, 36, 685–693.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Pao, H. T., & Tsai, C. M. (2011b). Modeling and forecasting the CO2 emissions, energy consumption, and economic growth in Brazil. Energy, 36, 2450–2458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Pao, H. T., Yu, H. C., & Yang, Y. H. (2011). Modeling the CO2 emissions, energy use, and economic growth in Russia. Energy, 36, 5094–5100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Saboori, B., & Sulaiman, J. (2013a). CO2 emissions, energy consumption and economic growth in Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries: a cointegration approach. Energy, 55, 813–822.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Saboori, B., & Sulaiman, J. (2013b). Environmental degradation, economic growth and energy consumption: evidence of the environmental Kuznets curve in Malaysia. Energy Policy, 60, 892–905.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Saboori, B., Sulaiman, J., & Mohd, S. (2012). Economic growth and CO2 emissions in Malaysia: a co-integration analysis of the environmental Kuznets curve. Energy Policy, 51, 184–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Sahli, I., & Ben Rejeb, J. (2015). The environmental Kuznets curve and corruption in the Mena region. Procedia Soc Behav Sci, 195, 1648–1657.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Sen, A., (1988). The concept of development, in Hollis Chenery and Thirukodikaval N. Srinivasan (eds), Handbook of Development Economics 1, North Holland: Elsevier Science Publishers, 10–26.Google Scholar
  84. Sen, A., (2000). Social exclusion: concept, application, and scrutiny. Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Lamont University Professor Emeritus, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  85. Shahbaz, M., Lean, H. H., & Shabbir, M. S. (2012). Environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis in Pakistan: cointegration and Granger causality. Renew Sust Energ Rev, 16, 2947–2953.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Shahbaz, M., Tiwari, A. K., & Nasir, M. (2013a). The effects of financial development, economic growth, coal consumption and trade openness on CO2 emissions in South Africa. Energy Policy, 61, 1452–1459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Shahbaz, M., Ozturk, I., Afza, T., & Ali, A. (2013b). Revisiting the environmental Kuznets curve in a global economy. Renew Sust Energ Rev, 25, 494–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Shahbaz, M., Mutascu, M., & Azim, P. (2013c). Environmental Kuznets curve in Romania and the role of energy consumption. Renew Sust Energ Rev, 18, 165–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Shahbaz, M., Khraief, N., Uddin, G.S., Ozturk, I., 2014. Environmental Kuznets curve in an open economy: a bounds testing and causality analysis for Tunisia. 34, 325–336.Google Scholar
  90. Siddiqui, D. A., & Ahmed, Q. M. (2013). The effect of institutions on economic growth: a global analysis based on GMM dynamic panel estimation. Struct Chang Econ Dyn, 24, 18–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Sulaiman, J., Azman, A., & Saboori, B. (2013). The potential of renewable energy: using the environmental Kuznets curve model. Am J Environ Sci, 9, 103–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Tiba, S., & Omri, A. (2016). Literature survey on the relationships between energy, environment and economic growth. Renew Sust Energ Rev, 69, 1129–1146. Scholar
  93. Tiba, S., Omri, A., & Frikha, M. (2015). The four-way linkages between renewable energy, environmental quality, trade and economic growth: a comparative analysis between high and middle-income countries. Energy Systems, 7, 103–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Tiwari, A. K., Shahbaz, M., & Hye, Q. M. A. (2013). The environmental Kuznets curve and the role of coal consumption in India: cointegration and causality analysis in an open economy. Renew Sust Energ Rev, 18, 519–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Ul Haq, M. (1995). Reflections on human development. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  96. UNDP. (2011). Human development reports indices and data. Available at
  97. Wang, Y., Kang, L., Wu, X., & Xiao, Y. (2013). Estimating the environmental Kuznets curve for ecological footprint at the global level: a spatial econometric approach. Ecol Indic, 34, 15–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. World Bank, (2014).World development indicators. Available at line data bases/ on linedatabases.html.
  99. Yang, Z., & Zhao, Y. (2014). Energy consumption, carbon emissions, and economic growth in India: evidence from directed acyclic graphs. Econ Model, 38, 533–540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Yavuz, N. Ç. (2014). CO2 emission, energy consumption, and economic growth for Turkey: evidence from a cointegration test with a structural break. Energy Sources Part B: Econ Plan Policy, 9(3), 229–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Zilio, M., & Recalde, M. (2011). GDP and environment pressure: the role of energy in Latin America and the Caribbean. Energy Policy, 39, 7941–7949.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Economics and ManagementUniversity of SfaxSfaxTunisia

Personalised recommendations