Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

Does economic prosperity lead to environmental sustainability in developing economies? Environmental Kuznets curve theory

  • Research Article
  • Published:
Environmental Science and Pollution Research Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Since developing countries experience economic and environmental sustainability challenges, it is desirable digging into the linkages between economic and environmental parameters. The purpose of this work is to evaluate the existence of the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) theory (i.e., the inverse U-shape connection between real GDP per capita and per capita carbon dioxide emissions) in the sample of 11 developing countries. By using balanced annual panel data in the period between 1992 and 2014 and two alternative estimation techniques, we explored the potential inverted U-shaped linkage between carbon dioxide emissions and real GDP per capita in the sample of interest. For analysis purposes, Pedroni and Westerlund co-integration techniques are employed. Then, fully modified ordinary least squares, pooled mean group methods are applied for long-run parameter estimations. And, the Dumitrescu-Hurlin causality approach is employed for causal directions. Firstly, this work’s findings provide the supportive evidence to the inverse U-shaped linkage in the long-run, indicating that an increase in real GDP per capita and electricity consumption tends to mitigate long-run carbon dioxide emissions in the developing countries, for the whole sample. Secondly, the country-specific findings suggested the presence of EKC theory for Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, the Russian Federation, Thailand, and Turkey. It implicated that these countries are on the path of attaining environmental sustainability in the long-run. However, Mexico, Philippines, Indonesia, and South Africa failed to lend credence to the EKC theory. It manifested that these countries need to design strategies directed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from economic activity and electricity generation through efficiency improvement or promotion of renewables. Finally, bidirectional causal links are observed among all the variables of interest. The findings suggest that country-specific targeted action plans should be implemented to ensure the environmental sustainability in the developing world.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Similar content being viewed by others

Availability of data and materials

All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this article.

References

Download references

Funding

Not applicable

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

MA: writing-review and editing, visualization, software. AM: formal analysis, data handling, and methodology. ES: Conceptualization, writing-original draft. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Munir Ahmad.

Ethics declarations

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Not applicable

Consent for publication

Not applicable

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Additional information

Responsible Editor: Ilhan Ozturk

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ahmad, M., Muslija, A. & Satrovic, E. Does economic prosperity lead to environmental sustainability in developing economies? Environmental Kuznets curve theory. Environ Sci Pollut Res 28, 22588–22601 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-12276-9

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-12276-9

Keywords

Navigation