UBC Community, Partners, and Alumni Publications

Outlook for China’s Environment? : What do the Environmental Kuznets Curve and the Experiences of Other East Asian Countries Tell Us Harrell, Stevan


I use the imperfect but useful concept of the Environmental Kuznets Curve to analyze the prospects for solving the environmental problems now facing China. The talk uses a wide range of historical statistics to classify these problems according to a heuristic “solvability index” based on the biophysical and sociopolitical tractability of these problems, as well as on the histories of how they have been addressed in countries that have faced them earlier: Japan, Taiwan, and the Republic of Korea. In doing so, I will also present a partial critique of the Environmental Kuznets Curve while affirming its limited utility as a heuristic device.

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