A review on Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis using bibliometric and meta-analysis

Samuel Asumadu Sarkodie*, Vladimir Strezov

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    407 Citations (Scopus)


    The Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis dates back in decades and is still topical presently due to its importance in environmental policy formulation. There are several systematic reviews of the EKC hypothesis using traditional review method. However, this review employs bibliometric and meta-analysis to track historical trends on the theme using the VOSviewer software and meta-analytic methods. The review translates the network analysis into visualized forms based on authors’ contribution, the impact of the research by countries, citations count, and text corpus modeling using a network data extracted from Web of Science. The meta-analysis reveals that the collection of studies that validate the inversed-U shaped relationship has an average of US$8910 as the turning point of annual income level. Low income and middle-income countries are found below the thresholds of annual income level while high-income countries are above. Heterogeneity is confirmed among turning point in studies on EKC hypothesis due to differences in the period of study and econometric methods used in model estimation. The empirical findings reveal that most of the studies on EKC hypothesis are based on atmospheric indicators, while literature is sporadic and limited on EKC hypothesis which employs land indicators, oceans, seas, coasts and biodiversity indicators, and freshwater indicators.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)128-145
    Number of pages18
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


    • Bibliometric analysis
    • EKC hypothesis
    • Meta-analysis
    • Pollution haven hypothesis
    • Turning point


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