Is economic growth good for the environment? A number of economists have claimed that economic growth can benefit the environment, recruiting political support and finance for environmental policy measures. This view has received increasing support since the early 1990s from empirical evidence that has challenged the traditional environmentalist's belief that economic growth degrades the environment. This book reviews the theoretical and empirical literature on growth and the environment, giving an in-depth empirical treatment of the relationship between the two. Various hypotheses are formulated and tested for a number of indicators of environmental pressure. The test results indicate that alternative models and estimation methods should be used, altering previous conclusions about the effect of economic growth on the environment and offering an insight into the forces driving emission reduction in developed countries.
List of figures and tables. Preface. 1. Economic growth and the environment: an introduction. Part I: Theories and concepts. 2. The limits to growth debate. 3. Interactions between economic and environmental systems. 4. Delinking environmental impacts from economic growth: issues of scale and indicators. 5. The environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis. 6. Economic growth and emissions: revising the environmental Kuznets curve. 7. Short and long-term effects of economic growth on pollution. 8. Trends of dematerialisation and rematerialisation in aggregated throughput. Part II: Empirical analysis of growth and the environment. 9. Decomposition analysis: a tool to investigate the relationship between emissions and income. 10. Driving forces underlying reductions in sulphur emissions. 11. Industrial restructuring and the reduction of heavy metal emissions in North Rhine-Westfalia. 12. Conclusions. References.
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