Date of Award

8-22-2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Degree Program

Global Leadership - with a specialization in Corporate and Organizational Management

Department

College of Business and Management

First Advisor

Farideh Farazmand

Second Advisor

John M. Cipolla

Third Advisor

Joan Scialli

Abstract

Environmental deterioration has frequently been viewed as a problem that inevitably accompanies economic development and industrialization. However, different economic backgrounds might experience different kinds and levels of environmental deterioration. This study investigated environmental deterioration in two groups of countries with comparable income levels but different economic backgrounds-transitional Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and non-transitional South and East Asian (SEA) countries.

This research utilized the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis to explain the relationships among macroeconomic indicators, country categories, and atmospheric concentrations in the CEE and SEA regions. Three research questions and six hypotheses and related sub-hypotheses were answered and tested by way of secondary data from 1990 to 2006, or the most recent data available. All of the data were sourced from the World Development Indicators, published by The World Bank Group; the exception was sulphur dioxin emissions, which came from Stem (2005). Multiple regressions and independent t-test were applied to analyze the data.

The findings indicated that differing economic backgrounds undermined environmental quality in CEE and SEA. Transitional economies, CEE, showed an increasing pressure on CO2 emissions but a decreasing pressure on SO2 emissions.

Regarding the inverted-U EKC hypothesis, this research showed different results according to different regions. The inverted-U curvilinear EKC hypothesis was supported in CEE region. However, the regressions analysis showed different results in the SEA region. The inverted-U curvilinear relationship between GDP per capita and per capita CO2 emission in SEA was supported, but the inverted-U curvilinear relationship between GDP per capita and per capita SO2 emission was partially supported. Nevertheless, the curvilinear relationships between percentage changes in GDP per capita and percentage changes in emissions, both CO2 and SO2, in SEA region were supported.

Other findings in this study suggested that the effects of macroeconomic indicators on per capita emissions and the effects of percentage changes in macroeconomic on percentage changes in per capita emissions, depending on research models, can differ greatly among CEE and SEA regions. This study also suggested areas, involving in more environmental deterioration indicators, explanatory variables, and country characteristics, for future research on the environmental deterioration issue.

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