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“Energy, Polluting Emissions, and Economic Development in Tunisia,” by Rania Ben Hamida, Amina Feki, and Sami Hammami

“Energy, Polluting Emissions, and Economic Development in Tunisia,” by Rania Ben Hamida, Amina Feki, and Sami Hammami

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In this paper, we examine the dynamic relationship among carbon dioxide emissions, energy consumption, and per-capita gross domestic product in Tunisia for the period between 1974 and 2005 using Engle and Granger’s cointegration. The empirical results show that the relationship between Tunisia’s economic development and environmental quality are not in line with the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis; rather, it is a matter of a monotone increasing relationship where polluting emissions go hand-in-hand with the country’s economic development and reflects inefficiency in energy usage. This was published in the Journal of Energy and Development as Rania Ben Hamida, Amina Feki, and Sami Hammami, “Energy, Polluting Emissions, and Economic Development in Tunisia,” The Journal of Energy and Development, volume 37, number 1 (autumn 2011, copyright 2012), pp. 115–128.

In this paper, we examine the dynamic relationship among carbon dioxide emissions, energy consumption, and per-capita gross domestic product in Tunisia for the period between 1974 and 2005 using Engle and Granger’s cointegration. The empirical results show that the relationship between Tunisia’s economic development and environmental quality are not in line with the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis; rather, it is a matter of a monotone increasing relationship where polluting emissions go hand-in-hand with the country’s economic development and reflects inefficiency in energy usage. This was published in the Journal of Energy and Development as Rania Ben Hamida, Amina Feki, and Sami Hammami, “Energy, Polluting Emissions, and Economic Development in Tunisia,” The Journal of Energy and Development, volume 37, number 1 (autumn 2011, copyright 2012), pp. 115–128.

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05/14/2014

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THE JOURNAL OF ENERGYAND DEVELOPMENT
Rania Ben Hamida, Amina Feki,and Sami Hammami,
“ 
Energy, Polluting Emissions, and Economic Development in Tunisia 
 ,” 
Volume 37, Number 1Copyright 2012
 
ENERGY, POLLUTING EMISSIONS, ANDECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN TUNISIA
 Rania Ben Hamida, Amina Feki, and Sami Hammami
*
 Introduction
S
ince the United NationsConference on Environment and Development held itsRio meeting in 1992, where participants discussed the necessity of fightingagainst the hazardous effects of pollution and climate change, these issues have become even more pressing world-wide. The ever-increasing consumption of energy is depleting the planet’s natural capital to a degree that could impact our future prosperity. According to the
2008 Living Planet Report 
, if demands for energy were to continue to grow at their current rates, by the mid-2030s we would need the equivalent of two planets to meet our global supply needs.
1
The rising level of energy consumption that is occurring internationally also is being mirrored at regional and national levels. An interesting case study along
*Rania Ben Hamida, a Ph.D. candidate in economics at the Faculty of Economics anManagement (MODEVI), University of Sfax, Tunisia, earned a master’s degree in economics fromthe same institution and a B.A. in accounting from the Business School of Sfax. This paper drawsfrom thesis research the author undertook at the Faculty of Economics and Management of Clermont-Ferrand (University of Auvergne, France) at the Center for Studies and Research onInternational Development (CERDI). Her research focuses on energy and the environment.Amina Feki, a Ph.D. candidate in economics at MODEVI, University of Sfax, received her master’s degree in 2008 from the same institution. Her research interests are capital accountliberalization, financial crises, and economic growth.Sami Hammami, professor of economics in the Faculty of Economics and Management at theUniversity of Sfax, has more than 18 years of experience in higher education. He is a specialist ininternational macroeconomics and former director of the University’s Master’s in Economics program. His publications in journals and collective works concentrate on venture capital,investment, and industrial policy.
The Journal of Energy and Development 
, Vol. 37, Nos. 1 and 2Copyright
Ó
2012 by the International Research Center for Energy and Economic Development(ICEED). All rights reserved.
115
 
these lines is Tunisia, which is one of the high-growth economies in the MiddleEast and North African area yet lacks sufficient energy supply to satisfy itsgrowing demand. Tunisia looks like many nations around the world with a young population, growing economy, increasing domestic energy consumption, and theneed to balance economic development with environmental concerns. In recentyears, Tunisia has begun to pay greater attention to environment-related issues, in part as a result of its insertion into the world economy that has compelled thenation to strive toward meeting certain environmental norms. Thus, for this studywe will be looking at the issues surrounding energy consumption, pollutingemissions, and economic development as they relate to the case of Tunisia.
 Literature Review
The studyof therelationshipbetweenthelevel of developmentof a countryand the quality of its environment has witnessed evolution over time and largely has been debated by economists. A disagreement has emerged between these econ-omists whose ideas can be split into two different camps: strong durability and weak durability.Weak durability is adopted by the neo-classicists who believe that it is possibleto substitute natural capital with artificial capital, which, in turn, legitimizes theexploitation—and even the exhaustion—of natural resources. These neo-classicistshave reacted to the Club of Rome declarations, which stipulated that, if currentgrowth rates and the degradation of the environment are kept unchanged, the globalnaturalresourcebasewillbeexhaustedandfuturegrowthwillbehindered.Theneo-classicists agree, here, with the classicists aboutthe unavoidable stationary statethatmakes any economic growth impossible or unsustainable in the long run, and theyhave asserted that economic growth is the best solution for all the countries all over the world. These ideas motivated many economists to analyze the EnvironmentalKuznets Curve (ECK), which is inspired by the inversed-U-shaped curve existing between the level of economic development of a country and the level of equitabledistribution of wealth. When applied in the environmental arena, this hypothesisshows that a developing country creates the conditions leading to a deterioration inenvironmentalquality,whichstabilizesonlywhenaminimumlevelofdevelopmenthas been reached.Some economists have defended the EKC hypothesis. Among them is W.Beckerman, who affirmed that economic growth usually leads to the deteriorationof the environment in the beginning of the process and, at its end, the only and bestway to have an improved environment in most countries is for them to becomewealthier.
2
G. Grossman and A. Krueger have demonstrated that for the majorityof the environmental indicators studied, economic growth brings about an initial phase of deterioration followed by a phase of amelioration.
3
The frequency of THE JOURNAL OF ENERGY AND DEVELOPMENT116

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