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Governance, Environmental Vulnerability, and PM2.5 Concentrations: International Evidence

We extend the EKC framework to examine the role of governance quality and environmental vulnerability in PM2.5 concentrations using a global panel dataset of 128 countries between 2000 and 2014. The results show that governance and education reduce PM2.5 concentrations while environmental vulnerability increases the concentrations. Promoting good governance and education as well as reducing environmental vulnerability can thus contribute to cleaner air. We find qualitatively similar results for the sub-sample of high-income countries, but governance has relatively weaker or insignificant effects for the sub-samples of upper-middle-income and lower-middle-and-low-income countries. High-income countries have strong institutional frameworks that facilitate enforcement of environmental regulations, which are conducive for protecting air quality, whereas other countries have relatively weak institutional capacity. This suggests a need for substantial economic, technological, and financial support from the international community for strengthening the environmental institutional capacity of developing countries.

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Keywords: Governance, Environmental vulnerability, Air quality, PM2.5, Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC)

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.42.6.thle

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Published in Volume 42, Number 6 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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