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Abstract

The motivation of this article bases on the controversy in the recent literature about economic growth, sustainable development and environmental protection, started with the empirical evidences presented by Grossman and Krueger (1995, 1996), where the relationship between per capita GDP and emission of pollutants takes the shape of an inver-ted–U, denominated in the literature as Environmental Kuznets Curves (EKC). This article differs from others by contributing with further expla-nation stemming from economic development indicators. Despite being contested by many authors, several structural interpretations of EKC have been strongly sustained under ad hoc shield. The concern about such stylized fact is whether or not the economic growth itself generates an automatic protection to the environment, consequently to the main-tainable development. Based upon panel data for countries, it is verified that the variables that denote sustainable economic development present a weak relationship with per capita GDP to support an EKC representa-tion. There are also evidences for environmental curves in cubic format, which means rejection of EKC, besides most of the development indica-tors pointing out for divergences among countries.

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