Kuznets's Inverted U Hypothesis: The Relationship Between Economic Development and Ecological Footprint

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Erden Özsoy C.

3rd International Sustainable Buildings Symposium (ISBS), U ARAB EMIRATES, 15 - 17 March 2017, vol.7, pp.242-251 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 7
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/978-3-319-64349-6_19
  • Country: U ARAB EMIRATES
  • Page Numbers: pp.242-251
  • Keywords: Economic development, Human development index, Ecological footprint, Biological capacity, Environmental kuznets curve, CURVE
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Sustainable development is defined as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". The concept of sustainable development contains both environmental sustainability and economic development. One simple way to assess sustainable development is to use the Ecological Footprint and Human Development Index (HDI). HDI measures a country's average achievements in the areas of health, knowledge, and standard of living. The Ecological Footprint measures a country's demand on nature and can be compared to available bio capacity. The HDI-Footprint, using simple indicators, prominently reveals how far removed the world is from achieving sustainable development. For all countries, the goal should be high human development and a low ecological footprint per capita. Environmental Kuznets Curve is located in the sustainable economic development literature puts forward that the inverse U shape relationship between the level of economic development and environmental degradation. In this study, the ecological footprints of countries are compared with the level of human development and the validity of Kuznets inverted U hypothesis being investigated. Measuring these two variables reveals that very few countries come close to achieving sustainable development.