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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Legal Families and Environmental Protection: Is There a Causal Relationship?


In this paper we build on the analysis of La Porta et al.(1998), to investigate the importance of legal families in explaining the dissimilar levels of environmental quality indicators among countries with different legal systems. The main intuition behind our analysis is that the nations in which the rights of shareholders are more protected promote real and financial investment; this increases the speed at which the per capita income corresponding to the declining branch of the Environmental Kutznets Curve (EKC) is achieved. In econometrics different regressions analyses were performed, using as dependent variables three different kinds of pollutants (CO2, fine suspended particulates and waste), and including as an explanation some financial variables never before considered in this kind of study.

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