The asymmetric associations between foreign direct investment inflows, terrorism, CO2 emissions, and economic growth: a tale of two shocks

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2021 Jul 22. doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-15188-4. Online ahead of print.


Foreign direct investments can exert ambiguous effects on the environmental quality of the host economies. At the same time, terrorism is a worldwide phenomenon that affects human life, FDI inflows, economic growth, and, most importantly, environmental well-being. Hence, it can be expected that there are relationships between terrorism, foreign direct investment inflows, and carbon dioxide emissions. However, in the previous literature, less attention has been given to explore these nexuses. In addition, the possible non-linearities in data are also mostly ignored in the preceding related studies. Against this backdrop, this paper explores the linear and non-linear influences of terrorism and foreign direct investment inflows on carbon dioxide emissions, controlling for energy consumption and economic growth within the model, on carbon dioxide emissions in the context of ten global economies that are most impacted by terrorism. To this end, we used the data from 1973 to 2016 and deployed the linear and non-linear autoregressive distributed lag methods to scrutinize the environmental impacts of the explanatory variables of concern. The results confirmed the presence of non-linearities in the relationships between terrorism, inflows of foreign direct investments, and carbon dioxide emissions. Furthermore, the findings revealed that the positive shocks to terrorism and foreign direct investment inflows significantly deteriorate the environment with a dominating effect. Unlike the previous studies, this current study validates the pollution haven hypothesis for the sample economies. Energy consumption and economic growth were also evidenced to exacerbate the carbon dioxide emission levels in all selected countries. Based on these results, we recommend that our sample economies should focus on promoting education, employment, economic stability, and public awareness to eradicate terrorism which, in turn, can mitigate the emissions of carbon dioxide further. In addition, stringent environmental regulations on foreign direct investment inflows are required to reduce the adverse environmental effects of such sources of foreign finance. Furthermore, the international firms should be encouraged to invest in cleaner technologies by offering them tax benefits and other financial incentives.

Keywords: Asymmetric ARDL; CO2 emissions; Economic growth; FDI; Terrorism.