Essays on Econometric Analyses of Economic Development and Effects on Health, Environmental Damage and Natural Resource Depletion

  • Natina Yaduma

Student thesis: Phd


The main part of this thesis is composed of three separate chapters, each using an innovative approach to analysing externalities from economic activity. The general introduction and overall conclusion sections complete the structure of the thesis. Chapter one examines the value of statistical life, an essential parameter used in ascribing monetary values to the mortality costs of air pollution in health risk analyses. This willingness to pay estimate is virtually non-existent for most developing countries. In the absence of local estimates, two major benefit transfer approaches lend themselves to the estimation of the value of statistical life: the value transfer method and the meta-regression analysis. Using Nigeria as a sample country, we find that the latter method is better tailored than the former for incorporating many characteristics that vary between study sites and policy sites into its benefit transfer application. It is therefore likely to provide more accurate value of statistical life predictions for very low-income countries. Employing the meta-regression method, we find Nigeria's value of statistical life estimate to be $489,000. Combining this estimate with dose response functions from the epidemiological literature, it follows that if Nigeria had mitigated its 2006 particulate air pollution to the World Health Organisation standards, it could have avoided at least 58,000 premature deaths and recorded an avoided mortality related welfare loss of about $28 billion or 19 percent of the nation's GDP for that year. The second chapter applies the quantile fixed effects technique in exploring the CO2 environmental Kuznets curve within two groups of economic development (OECD and Non-OECD countries) and six geographical regions - West, East Europe, Latin America, East Asia, West Asia and Africa. A comparison of the findings with those of the conventional fixed effects method reveals that the latter may depict a flawed summary of the prevailing income-emissions nexus depending on the conditional quantile examined. We also extend the Machado and Mata decomposition method to the Kuznets curve framework to explore the most important explanations for the carbon emissions gap between OECD and Non-OECD countries. We find a statistically significant OECD-Non-OECD emissions gap and this contracts as we ascend the emissions distribution. Also, had the Non-OECD group the incomes of the OECD group, the former would pollute 26 to 40 percent more than the latter ceteris paribus. The decomposition further reveals that there are non-income related factors working against the Non-OECD group's greening. We tentatively conclude that deliberate and systematic mitigation of current CO2 emissions in the Non-OECD group is required. The final chapter employs the Arellano-Bond difference GMM method in investigating the oil curse in OECD and Non-OECD oil exporting countries. Empirical studies investigating the natural resource curse theory mostly employ cross-country and panel regression techniques subject to endogeneity bias. Also, most of these studies employ GDP in its aggregate or per-capita terms as the outcome variable in their analyses. However, the use of GDP measures of income for resource curse investigations does not portray the true incomes of resource intensive economies. Standard national accounts treat natural resource rents as a positive contribution to income without making a corresponding adjustment for the value of depleted natural resource stock. This treatment, inconsistent with green national accounting, leads to a positive bias in the national income computations of resource rich economies. Our paper deviates from most empirical studies in the literature by using the Arellano-Bond difference GMM method. We test the robustness of the curse in the predominantly used measures of national income, GDP, by investigating the theme in genuine income measures of economic output as well. We employ two alternative measures of reso
Date of Award31 Dec 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorGrada Wossink (Supervisor)


  • economic development, environmental damage, meta-regression analysis, quantile fixed effects method, difference GMM method, particulate pollution, Environmental Kuznets Curve, natural resource curse

Cite this