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The impact of economic development and social-political factors on ecological footprint: A panel data analysis for 15 MENA countries

Lanouar Charfeddine () and Zouhair Mrabet

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2017, vol. 76, issue C, 138-154

Abstract: This paper extends the work of Al-Mulali and Ozturk (2015) [1] by re-investigating the Environment Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis for 15 MENA (Middle East and North African) countries using the Ecological Footprint (EF) as a proxy of environmental degradation over the period 1975–2007. Unlike the existing studies, we augment the basic EKC relationship by considering life expectancy at birth, fertility rate and political institutional index variables as new possible determinants of environmental degradation. The estimation of this relationship has been conducted for all MENA 15 countries, for oil-exporting and non-oil-exporting countries sub-samples. The results show that energy use worsens ecological footprint, whereas real GDP per capita exhibits an inverted U-shaped relationship with EF in oil-exporting countries and in the sample as a whole, i.e., the EKC hypothesis is validated. For the non-oil-exporting countries, the relationship between EF and economic growth is U-shaped. Moreover, our findings show that socio-demographic variables such as urbanization, life expectancy at birth and fertility rate improve the environment in the long term. We also found that the improvement of political institutions in those countries has not been accompanied by a reduction of environmental stress.

Keywords: EKC hypothesis; Ecological footprint; Energy consumption; Political index; Life expectancy; Fertility rate; Oil and non-oilexporting MENA countries (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:76:y:2017:i:c:p:138-154