Do Aging and Low Fertility Reduce Carbon Emissions in Korea? Evidence from IPAT Augmented EKC Analysis

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Apr 24;17(8):2972. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17082972.


The purpose of this article is to empirically find the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) relationship between income and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and to analyze the influence of population aging on such emissions. We utilize Korean regional panel data of 16 provinces during the period from 1998 to 2016. To account for the nonstationary time series in the panel, we employ a fully modified ordinary least squares (FMOLS) and estimate long-run elasticity. From the empirical results, we can find the nonlinear relationship between income and CO2 emissions. Additionally, we verify the fact that population aging reduces CO2 emissions. A 1% increase in the proportion of the elderly results in a 0.4% decrease in CO2 emissions. On the other hand, the younger population increases CO2 emissions. These results were in line with those of additional analysis on residential and transportation CO2 emissions, for the robustness check.

Keywords: IPAT; age structure; carbon dioxide; environmental kuznets curve; fully modified ordinary least squares (FMOLS); panel cointegration regression; population aging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Carbon Dioxide* / analysis
  • Economic Development*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Fertility*
  • Humans
  • Income*
  • Republic of Korea


  • Carbon Dioxide