Economic growth and emissions: testing the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis for ECOWAS countries

Douglason G. Omotor, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), Lagos and Delta State University, Abraka

The study examined the relationship between environmental degradation and per capita income using two variants of emissions- sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide in ECOWAS countries. The specific objective was to establish whether the estimated relationships conform to the inverted U-shape hypothesis as exemplified by the Environmental Kuznets curves (EKCs). Using panel fixed and random effects estimation techniques, the results indicated the existence of EKCs for the two indicators of environmental quality- SO2 and CO2; which is in tandem with the EKC Hypothesis. The turning points estimated for the different indicators of environmental quality are relatively low, thus suggesting a demonstration of the low level of development in the sub-region occasioned by high incidence of poverty. The polity variable which interacted significantly with the income variable to create the inverted-U shape EKC signals the importance of public institutions on environmental quality and the need for policy makers to be proactive.

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Presented in Poster Session 4