The relationship between MSW and education: WKC evidence from 25 OECD countries

Waste Manag. 2020 Aug 1;114:240-252. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2020.06.044. Epub 2020 Jul 15.


Nowadays municipal solid waste (MSW) has become a vital part of the economy, both as an output of human activities and as an input in the economy through material or energy recovery. Education has been shown to be closely related to the amount of MSW generated. The present research uses panel data obtained for 25 world counties for the years 1995-2016 and the examined variables include MSW, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and education level. Through econometric methods, the present paper accounts for the presence of cross section dependence and uses appropriate panel unit root tests to discover feasible cointegrated relationships. Also it strongly accounts for the interdependence between MSW, economic growth and education level. Based on these, the validity of the Waste Kuznets Curve (WKC) hypothesis is redefined. Specifically, an inverted U-shape relationship is observed both in the static and dynamic analyses for MSW. The calculated turning points although quite high they are in all cases within the sample. In all specifications the sign of education level is negative as expected. Therefore it is shown that education can act as an effective tool to enhance pro-environmental behaviour leading in turn to lower MSW arisings.

Keywords: Education; Municipal solid waste; OECD; Panel data; Waste Kuznets Curve.

MeSH terms

  • Economic Development
  • Humans
  • Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development
  • Refuse Disposal*
  • Solid Waste / analysis*


  • Solid Waste