• Focus Area -
  • Type KAPSARC journal article
  • Date 1 June 2018


The relationship between CO2 emissions, the main gas responsible for global warming, and economic growth is among the most studied themes of environmental economics. Reducing overall emissions while keeping a high pace of economic development is at the heart of the sustainable development concept. When emissions grow less rapidly than GDP environmental economists speak of relative decoupling; if emissions even decrease relative to the pace of economic growth, then decoupling is absolute. Assessing these options requires an empirical analysis of the emissions-GDP relationship. The study of this nexus has special importance for developed countries, given their historical responsibility towards global warming. At the same time, in the last decades, the same countries have been at the forefront of the fight against climate change in terms of emissions-reduction efforts. By applying cutting-edge econometric techniques, this paper aims to investigate the decoupling options, if any, for a group of European economies which can be considered as pioneers in pursuing the sustainable development goals. This question gains further importance considering that some recent studies have found positive GDP elasticities of emissions for certain developed countries, which may be seen as a cause of concern for the sustainable development path of such countries. Unlike the bulk of the literature, in this paper, we allow the income elasticity of emissions – a critical indicator for the study of decoupling – to vary over time. The reason is that the elasticity might change through the time due to the factors affecting the main drivers of the CO2 emissions. We use a time-varying coefficients cointegration approach to investigate the CO2 emissions-GDP relationship for 12 Western European countries over a long time period ranging from 1861 to 2015. Our main finding is that the income elasticity of CO2 emissions is positive in all investigated countries. In addition, we find evidence in favor of relative decoupling in 8 out of the 12 European countries. This is in line with the fact that the selected European countries have shown more determination in adopting carbon reduction policies before and after the Kyoto protocol period and toward the Paris agreement compared to other leading economies such as China, United States, and Russia. For the remaining 4 cases, the income elasticity of CO2 emissions is in excess of unity. This can be considered as a call for policymakers to take quick and relevant measures to mitigate emissions level without harming the economic development. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd


Ecological Indicators


Jeyhun Mikayilov

Research Fellow Jeyhun is a research fellow at KAPSARC. He received his B.A. and M.S. from Azerbaijan State University (now Baku State… Jeyhun is a research fellow at KAPSARC. He received his B.A. and M.S. from Azerbaijan State University (now Baku State University) in mathematics. Jeyhun holds a Ph.D. in applied mathematics and a D.S. in econometrics. Before joining KAPSARC in September 2017, Jeyhun was an associate professor at the Department of Statistics and Econometrics at Azerbaijan State University, and the Department of Economics at Qafqaz University, where he taught econometrics, statistics, and mathematical economics. His other roles have included director of the Research Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities, and head of the Center for Socio-Economic Research. Jeyhun was a postdoctoral researcher at Indiana University Bloomington, United States (U.S.). He has also been a visiting researcher at several institutions, including the Center for Econometric Research, Sungyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea; Vistula University, Warsaw, Poland; the University of North Texas, and the University of South Texas, both in the U.S. Jeyhun’s research is focused on applied time series econometrics, the economics of energy, the environment and sustainable development. He has authored over 40 scientific articles published in peer-reviewed journals and is an editorial board member of the International Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Research and Review, the Journal of Management, Economics and Industrial Organization, and the Journal of Socio-Economic Studies, and a member of the International Association for Energy Economics.


  • Applied Time Series Econometrics
  • The Economics of Energy and Environment
  • Sustainable Development

Publications See all Jeyhun Mikayilov’s publications

Fakhri Hasanov

Senior Fellow I Fakhri Hasanov is a senior fellow and leads the KAPSARC Global Energy Macroeconometric Model projects with 20+ years of experience… Fakhri Hasanov is a senior fellow and leads the KAPSARC Global Energy Macroeconometric Model projects with 20+ years of experience in econometric modeling and forecasting. Since 2015, he has been involved in multistakeholder projects, leading and executing macroeconomic analysis of various policy choices and initiatives (e.g., energy prices, energy demand, and fiscal reforms) for the Kingdom’s economy. He has extensive experience working with policymakers. Prior to KAPSARC, he was a post-doc at George Washington University. His research mainly covers macro-econometric modeling for energy and environmental economics policy analyses. Dr. Hasanov has authored 50+ applied studies published in reputable journals such as Energy Policy, Energy Economics, Empirical Economics, and Energy Strategy Review. His research is recognized internationally (e.g., he is listed among the top 2% of scientists globally by Elsevier). Fakhri is an editorial board member of various peer-reviewed journals, such as Frontiers in Environmental Science. He holds a Ph.D. in econometrics.


  • Econometric modeling and forecasting
  • Time series and panel data econometrics
  • Macroeconometric models for policy analyses
  • Energy economics
  • Environmental economics.

Publications See all Fakhri Hasanov’s publications

Marzio Galeotti

Visiting Researcher Marzio is professor of Environmental and Energy Economics at the University of Milan and a visiting researcher at KAPSARC. He… Marzio is professor of Environmental and Energy Economics at the University of Milan and a visiting researcher at KAPSARC. He graduated from Bocconi University in Milan and holds a M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in Economics from New York University. He is a research fellow at the Center for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy (IEFE) at Bocconi University. Founder and first president of the Italian Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, he has been an expert reviewer of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third, Fourth, and Fifth assessment reports for Working Group III on and the coordinator of the Climate Change Modelling and Policy research program of the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in Milan. He has published extensively in scholarly journals and actively participates to the policy debate through media interviews, comments and articles in newspapers and magazines and speeches and presentations in non-academic public events.


  • Environment and growth
  • Energy modeling
  • Energy sources
  • Economics of climate change
  • Green growth
  • Investment
  • Productivity
  • Factor demands
  • Innovation and technological change
  • Production theory

Publications See all Marzio Galeotti’s publications

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