Economic complexity and CO2 emissions in OECD countries: sector-wise Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis

Vahid Mohamad Taghvaee*, Mehrab Nodehi, Behnaz Saboori

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis by estimating the relationship between economic structure and economic complexity with the environmental pollution in OECD countries during 1971-2016. In that respect, this research investigates how various economic sectors affect environmental pollution differently. The results confirm the Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis, which implies the influential role of economic structure and complexity in socio-economic developmental phases. In addition, the results show that most of the OECD countries are on the left side of the curve, implying positive connection between economic complexity and CO 2 emissions. In contrast, only 3 OECD countries (Japan, Switzerland, and Germany) are close to the turning point, indicating that their patterns are sustainable for socio-economic development. The sectoral economic results affirm the most pollutant structure of the service sector, compared with the other economic sectors. Hence, new projects should attach great attention to their environmental impacts, specifically in the service sector planning. Regarding the complexity analysis, policymakers are advised to embrace knowledge-intensive restructuring of economic sectors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80860-80870
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number53
Publication statusPublished - Jun 21 2022


  • Economic complexity
  • Economic growth
  • Environmental Kuznets Curve
  • Environmental pollution
  • Sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this