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Kuznets Curve

  • By: Bruce Yandle
  • In: Green Politics: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Environmental Sociology, Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

An environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) is a statistical artifact that, for a single country, sample of countries, or other political regions, shows graphically the estimated relationship between a specific measure of environmental quality—say, the concentration of sulfur dioxide for a specific set of air quality stations—and some measure of per capita income. The device got its name from a famous economist, Simon Kuznets, who discovered a relationship between the distribution of income and income growth in developing countries. Kuznets found that income distribution in developing economies begins highly skewed but becomes more equal with higher per capita income. When mapped with a measure of income distribution measured on the vertical axis and per capita income on the horizontal axis, the Kuznets curve looked like an ...

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