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Natural resource, globalization, urbanization, human capital, and environmental degradation in Latin American and Caribbean countries


The world is increasingly getting urbanized and globalized, and the increase in natural resource exploration could have a far-reaching impact on environmental quality. Since most Latin American and Caribbean countries (LACCs) have proximity to the Amazon, they, therefore, rely heavily on agriculture and mining which develop via deforestation which could exacerbate the already increasing carbon dioxide emissions (CO2 emissions). Therefore, to the best of our knowledge, this study becomes the first to investigate the link between natural resources, globalization, urbanization, and environmental degradation in LACCs countries from 1990 to 2017 with advanced panel data econometric techniques. The unit root tests affirm all the variables to be stationary at first difference, and the Westerlund (Oxf Bull Econ Stat 69(6):709–748, 2007) cointegration test confirms the long-run relationship among the variables. The augmented mean group (AMG) and the common correlated effects mean group (CCEMG) results affirm that the aforementioned variables add to CO2 emissions, while human capital mitigates it. Further findings reveal that human capital performs a moderating role in promoting urbanization sustainability. The country-specific results confirm that economic growth adds to emissions in all the countries, except in the Dominican Republic. A feedback causality exists between economic growth, globalization, urbanization, and CO2 emissions. This study argues for the development of human capital, a gradual transition to sustainable growth-driven and knowledge-based industries, and the introduction of sustainability practices in the natural resource sector to mitigate CO2 emissions in LACCs.

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Data availability

The datasets used and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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Authors and Affiliations



SN conceived the idea, wrote the introduction, collected and analysed the data, and interpreted the results. NN reviewed the required literature and edited the manuscript. FB wrote the methodology section and provided the relevant policy recommendations/directions. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Solomon P. Nathaniel.

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Annex 1

Table 9 Lists of abbreviations

Annex 2. List of countries

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay

Annex 3

Table 10 Partial correlation of CO

Annex 4

Table 11 Partial correlation of HC * UB (log) with GB (log)

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Nathaniel, S.P., Nwulu, N. & Bekun, F. Natural resource, globalization, urbanization, human capital, and environmental degradation in Latin American and Caribbean countries. Environ Sci Pollut Res 28, 6207–6221 (2021).

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  • Natural resource
  • Globalization
  • Human capital
  • Urbanization
  • AMG
  • Latin American and Caribbean countries