Economic growth and environmental health: a dual interaction


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In most countries of the world, realizing the sustainable development concept has caused a lively discussion in the scientific environment regarding the mutual influence of the economic growth and the environmental health. Is the economic growth even possible without environmental damage? The answer is still unknown. Research studies both confirm and refute this interaction. The U-shaped curve (Environmental Kuznets Curve) hypothesis is the most popular in this regard. Scientists from different countries analyze the impact of the economic climate on the environmental health taking the hypothesis into account. At the same time, these studies use gross national income as a base indicator, which reflects only the economic dimension of the research, but does not consider the depletion of natural capital on the path of economic growth. The purpose of this study is to identify the factors that have the most significant impact on the adjusted net savings in Ukraine and a number of selected countries, and also take into account the agrarian sector development, which is important in terms of substantiation of the expediency of a significant increase in natural agricultural production in the Ukrainian agrarian sector. The paper presents the results of constructing a model based on World Bank data for the period from 2009 to 2017, for Ukraine and 13 other countries that are neighbors of Ukraine and belong to the lower middle-income group. From the list of indicators provided by the World Bank to characterize the state of the environment in the world, 13 indicators are chosen that most fully characterize the situation in the selected countries. Based on the analysis of the panel data formed, the result is that agricultural land (% of land area), energy use per capita (kg oil equivalent), and agricultural productivity (value added per worker) have the most significant impact on the adjusted net savings. With that, the first two indicators show a positive impact, while the third one has a negative impact, indicating that the increase in productivity in the agrarian sector of the economy results in the environmental deterioration. All this allows us to conclude about the necessity to introduce natural agroproduction technologies in order to improve the environment, especially considering the fact that in Ukraine, the share of the agrarian sector in GDP increases every year.

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    • Figure 1. Scree plot
    • Figure 2. Adjusted net savings (% of GNI), simulated value
    • Table 1. Code names of input indices
    • Table 2. Results of the principal components method
    • Table 3. Distribution of variables in selected components
    • Table 4. Correlation matrix
    • Table 5. Correlation matrix after the two variables exclusion
    • Table 6. Results of the regression model with random effects
    • Table 7. Results of a random effects regression model based on variables after taking the logarithm