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The wealth of nations and sustainable development: energy intensity and the environmental Kuznets curve
Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics, Norway.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Unit of Economic History.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3293-2318
Hauge School of Management, NLA University College, Norway.
2020 (English)In: Environmental Economics, ISSN 1998-6041, E-ISSN 1998-605X, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 110-123Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Scholars warn that wealth leads to unsustainable environmental development. However, over the last decades, studies have shown an increase in environmental degradation at the initial stage of economic growth, and then a decline when economic growth reaches a certain level. This first acceleration and then deceleration create an inverted U-shaped curve between pollution and economic growth, called the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC). Environmental degradation can be measured by different factors. This paper deals with two of them, i.e. energy consumption and energy intensity (EI). The latter is measured as the ratio between energy consumption and GDP. The relationship of energy consumption and intensity to economic growth can serve as a tool for examining whether an EKC exists.

The paper presents continuous series of energy consumption energy intensity and gross domestic product for the Norwegian mainland economy 1835–2019. The series are used to examine the possible existence of relative and absolute environmental Kuznets curves (EKC). Time series are established using available data and annual figures for 1835–2019, which are presented for the first time. They depict a development that, first, reflects an almost constant downward trend in EI, and, second, the existence of EKCs. The paper also proposes a polynomial regression model to discuss the relationship between environmental degradation as measured by energy consumption and intensity on the one hand, and economic growth on the other. It is concluded that there are both relative and absolute EKC-relations between environmental degradation and economic growth, with 1975 as relative and 2002 as absolute turning point.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sumy, Ukraine: CPC Business Perspectives , 2020. Vol. 11, no 1, p. 110-123
Keywords [en]
Norway, energy consumption, economic growth, environmental studies, economic history
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History; Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-175489DOI: 10.21511/ee.11(1).2020.10Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85097904267OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-175489DiVA, id: diva2:1471872
Part of project
Conditions for Green Structural Change. The evolution of the Environmental Goods and Service Sector in Sweden 1970-2015, Swedish Research CouncilAvailable from: 2020-09-30 Created: 2020-09-30 Last updated: 2023-09-20Bibliographically approved

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Lindmark, Magnus

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Citation style
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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