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Can human development and political stability improve environmental quality? New evidence from the MENA region

Zouhair Mrabet, Mouyad Alsamara (), Karim Mimouni and Ayman Mnasri

Economic Modelling, 2021, vol. 94, issue C, 28-44

Abstract: We investigate the effects of human development and political stability on environmental quality and examine whether they are viable tools for improving environmental policies. The literature finds that countries can reduce harmful emissions beyond a certain per capita income threshold. However, this literature omits the impact of human development and political stability. We fill this gap using a sample of 16 Middle Eastern and North African countries over the period 1990–2016 to examine environmental quality–human development causality and the effects of political stability on this relationship. We reveal the existence of an inverted U-shaped relationship between human development and the ecological footprint that varies between oil and non-oil countries. Moreover, we show that political unrest delays environmental improvements. Our findings are critically important for policymakers, because they demonstrate the positive effects of human development and political stability on the environment through better education and healthcare systems.

Keywords: Ecological footprint; Economic development; Energy use; Urbanization; Trade openness; Political instability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C23 F18 O47 Q53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:94:y:2021:i:c:p:28-44

DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2020.09.021

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