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Impact of technological progress on carbon emissions in different country income groups

Author(s): 
Chris Belmert Milindi, Roula Inglesi-Lotz
Publication date: 
March 2021

This study examines the complex relationship between carbon emissions and technological progress in a sample of 60 countries, divided into four categories based on their per capita income between the periods of 1989-2018. For robustness purposes and due to the broad definition of technology, we use six different proxies to represent technology; namely: Information and telecommunication technology (ICT); patents; public R&D expenditure; total factor of productivity (TFP); and a number of science and technology publications. After applying the fixed-effect method with Driscoll and Kraay standard errors, for the full sample, the results show that the ICT variables are a good instrument for carbon abatement, while R&D expenditure and patents do not have a clear impact on carbon emissions, TFP increases carbon emissions, and science and technology publications are negatively related to carbon emissions. The impact of the indicators on the various income levels groups of countries vary which has significant policy implications.

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