Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Economics and Finance


Chris Fawson


The theory of the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) proposes to answer important questions regarding the connections between economic growth (development) and the environment. The theory postulates the environment need not always suffer as the economy develops, and it has generated strong support and opposition. Rather than attempting to defend or debunk EKC theory, this research challenges a practice engaged in by proponents and opponents alike. Simplifying assumptions are a necessary part of economic analysis, but this research shows that any assumptions may not be universally applicable. Utilizing, in turn, a simple one good model and then a more complicated two good model, it is discovered that the competing assumptions utilized by proponents and opponents of the EKC theory may both be valid, depending upon the conditions present in the system being analyzed.

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Economics Commons