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Does democracy affect environmental quality in developing countries?

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This article examines the impact of democracy on environmental conditions in a large sample of developing countries for the period 1976-2003. This relationship is explored empirically using three indicators of environmental quality: carbon dioxide emissions, water pollution and deforestation damage. We find evidence that democracy is conducive to environmental improvement but that this result depends on the measure of the environmental quality that is used. We also find remarkable differences in results across our different sub-samples. The conclusion therefore is that there is no uniform relationship between democracy and the state of the environment.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Economics, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada K9J 7B8

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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