Income Inequality and Environmental Quality: A Case Study of Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 Associate Professor of Economics, Kharazmi University

2 Master of Art in Economics, Bu-ali Sina University

3 Ph.D. Candidate in Economics, Shahid Chamran University


Preliminary studies of the Kuznets curve, on a simple model (pollution function of the level of development) relied. Recent studies argue that other factors except the income could be decisive in the environmental pollution. One of the economic variables that have been considered in recent years is income inequality. In this study, using time series data from Iran (1978 to 2013), the effect of income distribution on carbon dioxide emissions has been discussed. The Gini coefficient in urban areas and the income of the richest 10 percent to 10 percent of the poorest members of society has been used as an indicator of income inequality. Due to the characteristics of the variables, regression analysis was used to estimate the ARDL method. The results show that by improving the distribution of income, per capita carbon dioxide emissions are reduced. In other words, improving income distribution, while positive economic and social effects that many studies have enumerated, will improve the quality of the environment. Urbanization and per capita energy consumption, carbon dioxide emissions per capita is positive and significant impact. Also in the short term and long-term per capita income has no effect on CO2 gas emissions per capita in the country.