Answer to Question #207839 in Political Science for shritha

Question #207839

In light of the discussion on inequality elaborate on the hypothesis of Kuznet’s Curve. Examine the role of State in the economic growth process as represented by the curve.

Expert's answer

The Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) theory proposes an inverted-U-shaped connection between various pollutants and per capita income, i.e., environmental pressure rises to a certain level as wealth rises, then falls. Thus, an EKC illustrates how a technically specified measurement of environmental quality varies when a country's fortunes change. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the amount of literature on EKC. However, all of the research agrees on one thing: environmental quality deteriorates during the early phases of economic development/growth and improves later on. 

When an economy is largely pre-industrial and agricultural, the environment is typically pristine and free of toxins emitted by industrial economic activity.

As the economy develops and industrializes, the environment is more likely to be affected by pollution and natural resource depletion.

The curve then returns to a cleaner environment as economic growth continues and individuals opt to spend their money on environmental improvements such as water purification and air quality improvement. As a result, people have become more conscious of the environmental benefits.

The Environmental Kuznets Curve concept appears to have several flaws. Several studies, however, have shown that certain environmental concerns actually follow the Kuznets Curve. For example, sulfur dioxide suspended particulate matter, and fecal coliform is examples of air and water contaminants.

However, generalizations are problematic because the Kuznets Curve connection is based on the exact pollutant, the location, and the time frame. For example, even when wealth levels grow, economies frequently require regulation and government action to maintain environmental protection.

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