Per Capita Carbon Dioxide Emissions: Convergence or Divergence?

Understanding and considering the distribution of per capita carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is important in designing international climate change proposals and incentives for participation. I evaluate historic international emissions distributions and forecast future distributions to assess whether per capita emissions have been converging or will converge. I find evidence of convergence among 23 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), whereas emissions appear to be diverging for an 88-country global sample over 1960-–2000. Forecasts based on a Markov chain transition matrix provide little evidence of future emissions convergence and indicate that emissions may diverge in the near term. I also review the shortcomings of environmental Kuznets curve regressions and structural models in characterizing future emissions distributions.

Issue Date:
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
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Total Pages:
JEL Codes:
O40; Q54; Q56
Series Statement:
Discussion Paper 05-53

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-04

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