Seoul Journal of Economics
[ Article ]
Seoul Journal of Economics - Vol. 17, No. 1, pp.55-83
ISSN: 1225-0279 (Print)
Print publication date 29 Feb 2004
Received 02 Feb 2004 Revised 02 Jun 2004

Economic Development and/or Environmental Quality: Emissions of CO2 and SO2 in East Asia

Toru Iwami
Professor, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan, Tel: +81-3-5841-5604, Fax: +81-3-5841-5521

JEL Classification: O14, O53, Q56


This paper deals with a question of how the economic development in East Asia has influenced on emissions of CO2 and SO2, thereby considering a larger question of whether or not economic development can coexist with environmental quality. Despite an increased scale of emissions, SO2 has not so much increased as expected, and rising energy efficiency has made CO2 emission intensity stabilized, or even declined like in China. These favorable facts are resulted from the efforts of East Asian countries to raise competitiveness in the world market, public awareness of environmental quality, and technology transfers through FDI and ODA. However, if the economic growth rate surpasses the rise in energy efficiency, CO2 emissions as a whole would continue to increase.


Environmental Kuznets Curve, Advantage of latecomer, SO2 and CO2 emissions, Industrialization, East Asia


The author gratefully appreciates advice from Naoto Kunitomo (University of Tokyo), Tadahiro Hayasaka (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature), and Toshimasa Ohara (University of Shizuoka), as well as financial support from the Foundation for Earth Environment, and AGS (Alliance for Global Sustainability) Fund.


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