The Two Sides of the Environmental Kuznets Curve: A Socio-Semantic Analysis

This article by Telmo Menezes, Antonin Pottier and Camille Roth has been published in Œconomia in June 2023. Here is the abstract:

Since the 1990s, the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis posits an inverted U-shaped relationship between pollutants and economic development. The hypothesis has attracted a lot of research. We provide here a review of more than 2000 articles that have been published on the EKC. We aim at mapping the development of this specialized research, both in term of actors and of content, and to trace the transformation it has undergone from its beginning to the present. To that end, we combine traditional bibliometric analysis and semantic analysis with a novel method, that enables us to recover the type of pollutants that are studied and the empirical claims made on EKC (whether the hypothesis is invalidated or not). We principally exhibit the existence of a few epistemic communities that are related to distinct time periods, topics and, to some extent, proportion of positive results on EKC.

The (open access) publisher version of the paper is available here.