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Is there a cancer Environmental Kuznets Curve?

Tommaso Luzzati () and Tommaso Rughi

Discussion Papers from Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

Abstract: The observed increasing burden of cancer can be considered as good news, being the outcome of better life conditions and higher life expectancy. At the same time, changes in life-styles (e.g. diet, smoking, physical inactivity) and environmental quality brought about by economic development are also important risk factors in cancer. This piece of research aims at empirically assessing the role of economic development in new cancer cases (incidence). Consistently with the literature on the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC), we adopt a coarse-grained approach rather than zooming into the very complicated determinants of the phenomenon under inquiry. The novelty is that we focus on impacts on humans rather than on pressures such as emissions or concentrations. After reviewing the main statistical evidence and etiological hypotheses about cancer, we run several econometric models to assess the role of per capita income after controlling for life expectancy and diagnostic capacity. We investigated both aggregated cancers, and the most eight important site organ cancers. Data suggest that the increasing cancer incidence is also due to life-styles and environmental degradation.

Keywords: Economic growth; Cancer; Cancer-EKC; environmental degradation; life-styles. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-01-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-env and nep-hea
Note: ISSN 2039-1854
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