Economic Growth and Environmental Quality in the European Union Countries – Is there Evidence for the Environmental Kuznets Curve?

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This research empirically explores the relation between carbon dioxide emission and economic growth during the period 1992-2010, using panel data on the European Union countries. Both fixed and random effect models are employed to test the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) relationship between CO2 emissions and GDP per capita. While no U-shaped EKC was confirmed empirically for all 28 current EU member states, the graphical analysis demonstrates a justified turning point for CO2 emissions as GDP per capita reaches the level of 23,000 USD. Furthermore, there is a firm empirical ground for the EKC hypothesis based on data from 16 older, relatively high-income EU states. Thus, though not empirically confirmed, there is ample data verifying the existence of the EKC in EU economies.

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