The environmental Kuznets curve: a critical review of early literature

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The nexus between environmental protection and economic growth has long been a controversial area of research. This chapter critically analyzes the earlier empirical studies within the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) literature. The time period is selected between 1991 and 2006. This chapter highlights the major findings from this literature, indicating the limitations of these studies. In conclusion, some factors are key reasons behind the EKC, including income elasticity of environmental quality demand, scale, technologic and composition effects, different environmental quality indicators, represent different shapes of the EKC. The chapter ends with policy perspectives relating with the EKC hypothesis with final remarks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Kuznets Curve (EKC)
Subtitle of host publicationA Manual
EditorsBurcu Özcan, Ilhan Öztürk
Place of PublicationLondon UK
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780128167977
ISBN (Print)9780128167960
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Economic growth
  • Environmental Kuznets curve
  • Environmental quality
  • Inverted U-shape
  • Pollution
  • Turning point

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