Economic growth and environmental pollution in West Africa: Testing the Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis

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Derick Taylor Adu Elisha Kwaku Denkyirah

Abstract

Several studies suggest that increased economic activities result in poor environmental quality while others argue otherwise, due to the demand for improved environmental quality as a result of higher incomes. This paper empirically tested the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis by analyzing the relationship between economic growth and environmental pollution (carbon dioxide emission, CO2 and combustible renewable waste, CoWaste) using a panel dataset from 1970 to 2013 for selected West African countries with similar income status. This study is important in order to ascertain if economic growth really lead to a reduction in environmental pollution and at what income level would this be achieved. The results revealed that economic growth in the short-run significantly increases CO2 emissions and CoWaste but does not significantly decrease CO2 emission and CoWaste in the long-run. The non-significant relationship between economic growth and environmental pollution indicates the non-existence of EKC in West Africa. The results of the study further revealed a very low turning point at which CO2 emission and CoWaste start to decrease; however, the non-existence of the EKC implies that the rela- tionship between economic growth and environmental degradation in West African countries cannot be explained by an inverted U-shaped curve. The study recommends that West African economies should pursue efficiency improvement policy intervention to prevent environmental degradation.

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How to Cite
ADU, Derick Taylor; DENKYIRAH, Elisha Kwaku. Economic growth and environmental pollution in West Africa: Testing the Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis. Kasetsart Journal of Social Sciences, [S.l.], v. 40, n. 2, p. 281–288, aug. 2019. ISSN 2452-3151. Available at: <http://kuojs.lib.ku.ac.th/index.php/kjss/article/view/2836>. Date accessed: 21 sep. 2019.
Section
Research articles