Income, Trade and Pollution in Central Asia, Russia and China: An Econometric Analysis

Tisorn Songsermsawas, Bucknell University



The study performs a panel estimation of the relationship between per capita income, trade, and airborne pollution in the five Central Asian nations, Russia and China between 1992 and 2008. First, this study uses an environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis (EKC)- an inverted-U relationship between the increase in income and the level of environmental degradation - to examine how income and pollution are related. Second, the study uses a gravity model to estimate the effect of a regional trade agreement (Shanghai Cooperation Organization: SCO) on incomes and carbon dioxide emissions in the region. Empirical analysis confirms the existence of the rising portion of the EKC curve in the region - a positive correlation between per capita income growth and carbon dioxide emissions- and that the volume of bilateral trade, and not the existence of a regional trade agreement, contributes to the increasing level of environmental pollution.