The Environmental Kuznets Curve: Development path or policy result?

Elisabetta Magnani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


A rich literature on the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) suggests that there may be other factors besides per capita income that determine the emergence of a downward sloping segment in the EKC. Empirical studies have referred to this issue an to an omitted variable problem. This paper questions the idea that there exists a development path that necessarily links increasing environmental quality with economic growth. After illustrating the empirical evidence on the EKC, I focus on the determinants of pollution abatement policies to argue that the relationship between environmental care and economic growth may depend on other moments of the income distribution functions besides its mean. If the median voter theorem applies income distribution parameters determine the level of pollution abatement by impacting upon the willingness to pay for protecting the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-165
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Modelling and Software
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Development path
  • Environmental curve
  • Environmental policy
  • Income inequality
  • Median voter theorem
  • Voting models


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