Evaluating the environmental Kuznets curve

Michael S. Delgado, Kai Sun, Subal Kumbhakar

Research output: Preprint or Working paperWorking paper


We examine the empirical evidence for an environmental Kuznets curve using a semiparametric smooth coefficient regression model that allows us to incorporate flexibility in the parameter estimates, while maintaining the basic econometric structure that is typically used to estimate the pollution-income relationship. This allows us to assess the sensitivity to parameter heterogeneity of typical parametric models used to estimate the relationship between pollution and income, as well as identify why the results from such models are seldom found to be robust. Our results confirm that the resulting relationship between pollution and income is fragile; we show that the estimated pollution-income relationship depends substantially on the heterogeneity of the slope coefficients and the parameter values at which the relationship is evaluated. Different sets of parameters obtained from the semiparametric model give rise to many different shapes for the pollution-income relationship that are commonly found in the literature.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBinghamton
Number of pages11
Publication statusUnpublished - 27 Aug 2010


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