Environmentally efficient well-being: Is there a Kuznets curve?
Journal or Book Title: Applied Geography
Keywords: Environmental Kuznets Curve; Human well-being; Sustainability indicators
Volume/Issue: 32 (2012)
Page Number(s): 21-28
Year Published: 2010
The environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) posits an inverted “U” shaped relationship between the affluence of a nation and the stress it places on the biophysical environment, with increases in affluence from low to moderate levels producing increased environmental stress but further increases eventually leading to a tipping point after which further affluence reduces environmental stress. We hypothesized that the same pattern might obtain for the relationship between affluence and the efficiency with which a nation produces human well-being compared to the stress it places on the environment. The environmental intensity of human well-being (EIWB) was represented as the ratio of a nation’s per capita ecological footprint to its average life expectancy at birth. Using panel data on 58 nations, we find that, on average, the relationship between gross domestic product per capita and EIWB is a U shape, the inverse of the Kuznets curve.
Type of Publication: Journal Article