Green complexity, economic fitness, and environmental degradation: evidence from US state-level data

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Çinar I. T., Korkmaz I., Şişman M. Y.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH, vol.30, no.15, pp.43013-43023, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 15
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11356-022-19859-8
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, IBZ Online, ABI/INFORM, Aerospace Database, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Environment Index, Geobase, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.43013-43023
  • Keywords: Green complexity, Economic fitness, Sub-national level, SO2, PM10, CO2 emissions, KUZNETS CURVE, FRACTIONAL POLYNOMIALS, POLLUTION
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Green production is one of the major debates as environmental degradation poses threats globally. The paper attempts to explore the relationship between green production and environmental quality by using Economic Fitness approach. We develop a Green Complexity Index (GCI) dataset consisting of 290 traded green-labeled products and Economic Fitness Index (EFI) for the US states between 2002 and 2018. We analyze the environmental performance of green production using the GCI and EFI data at the sub-national level. Findings indicate that exporting more complex green products has insignificant effects on local (i.e., sulfur dioxide, particulate Matter 10) and global polluters such as carbon dioxide, even accounting for per capita income. Yet, economic fitness has a significant negative impact on the emission levels implying that sophisticated production significantly improves environmental quality in the USA. The insignificant impact of GCI on environmental degradation suggests that green product classifications should incorporate the production and end-use stages of goods to limit the adverse environmental effects of green-labeled products.