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In this paper, we present a series of environmental policies that were implemented by the city-state of Athens during the Classical period (508–323 BCE) through a specific set of environmental institutions. They included: waste management, the implementation of a recycling process regarding animal manure as well as hygiene practices. Special administrative bodies were set up for this purpose with the power to impose heavy fines to offenders, and the actual job of environmental protection was contracted out to private operators. We argue that the success of the Athenian environmental institutions should primarily be attributed to the economic stimuli that the Athenian state provided to their staff so as to perform their duties efficiently, as well as to the imposition of fines and/or other penalties if they provided subpar services. We finally provide proposals as to how the Athenian environmental policies may be seen as an inspiration for our modern societies.
Recently, there has been significant research interest in the empirical formulations of the environment-income relationship using both global and disaggregated data. Advances in methods and availability of better and more extensive data make the old topic of growth and environment a unique field for Environment and Development Economics, among other journals. Conventionally, the environmental Kuznets curve has been important in testing for emissions of many pollutants in many different countries. Now, policy and institutional data including transparency variables are available, making many social and economic factors interesting for policy analysts. In light of these advances, and the existing associated empirical problems in analyzing the income-environment relationship, the key findings of each paper in this special issue are discussed and connected to the related areas of research interest.
The purpose of this study is to test empirically the hypothesis of the inverted U-shaped relationship between environmental damage from sulfur emissions and economic growth as expressed by GDP. Using a large database of panel data consisting of 73 OECD and non-OECD countries for 31 years (1960–1990) we apply for the first time random coefficients and Arellano-Bond Generalized Method of Moments (A–B GMM) econometric methods. Our findings indicate that the EKC hypothesis is not rejected in the case of the A–B GMM. On the other hand there is no support for an EKC in the case of using a random coefficients model. Our turning points range from $2805–$6230/c. These results are completely different compared to the results derived using the same database and fixed and random effects models.
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