The Impact of Economic Development on Biodiversity

Publication Year:
2013

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Repository URL:
https://digitalcommons.carleton.edu/comps/688
Author(s):
Theisen, Scott Anthony
Tags:
biodiveristy; environmental kuznets curve; threatened species
artifact description
Environmental degradation is one tradeoff of a continually growing world. This paper investigates this relationship by looking at the effect economic development has on biodiversity loss in the form of an Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC). Past studies have found evidence of an EKC for mammals and birds but little for other taxonomic groups. However, none of these studies used panel data. By using panel data from 1996-2010 from the IUCN Red List, this study looks to improve upon the findings found in other studies. We find that an EKC is present for all taxonomic groups examined (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and other invertebrates) with the exception of plants. Furthermore, the relationship holds when including a cubic term, showing that the results aren't reliant upon functional specification. Given that most biodiversity is found in developing countries, these results are important for future conservation efforts, and may call for future studies to examine the EKC using panel data.