Journal of Social and Economic Development

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 212–233 | Cite as

Environmental Kuznets curve for local and global pollutants: application of GMM and random coefficient panel data models

  • Devleena Chakravarty
  • Sabuj Kumar MandalEmail author
Research Paper


The objective of the study is to test the empirical validity of the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis—an inverted U shape relationship between economic growth measured by GDP and environmental damage from the global pollutant, carbon dioxide (CO2) and the local pollutant, sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions. We use a sample of 57 economies for CO2 and 63 economies for SO2 for the period 1992–2011. The study uses dynamic panel data model (GMM approach) to address the dynamism in the emission level and endogeneity of income, if any. We also use the random coefficient model (RCM) to test the validity of the assumption that all the economies in a sample travel the same growth path. Our results differ from the findings of the previous studies. Results of our dynamic panel model show evidence supporting EKC hypothesis in case of CO2 for both developing and developed economies. For the local pollutant, SO2 emission, a monotonically decreasing relationship with income is found in the context of developed economies, but insignificant impact of income is found for developing economies. Results pertaining to the RCM show that income and its square have insignificant impact on both local and global pollutant and therefore do not support the EKC hypothesis for both developing and developed economies.


Environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis Local and global pollutant GMM Random coefficient model 

JEL Classification

C33 Q55 



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Copyright information

© Institute for Social and Economic Change 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Humanities and Social SciencesIndian Institute of Technology MadrasChennaiIndia

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