Is there an Environmental Kuznets Curve for clearcutting in Canadian forests?
This study investigates the macroeconomic forces underlying forest clearcutting practices across Canada. In keeping with the relevant literature on environmental degradation, three forces are assumed to influence forest clearcutting: per capita gross domestic product (GDP), technology, and population density. While previous work has used models that assume linear relationships between the latter two variables and environmental degradation, this paper employs a more flexible (quadratic) model. Pooled regression analysis in the Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairie, and British Columbia regions between 1975-99 indicates that while technological change tends to have an inverted U-shaped relationship with forest area clearcut, population and GDP/capita tend to have the opposite effects. This last variable finding strongly rejects the Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis of an inverted U-shaped relationship between GDP/capita and forest area clearcut in Canada.