The paper adopts a single-country regional panel dataset to analyse the long-term relationship between agricultural greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and productivity growth and, consequently, to assess emissions sustainability. The hypothesis of emission sustainability is assessed by estimating alternative panel model specifications with conventional and GMM estimators applied to the highly heterogeneous Italian regional agriculture, whose methane and nitrous oxide emissions are properly reconstructed for the periods 1951-2008 and 1980-2008. The modelling approach and the empirical specification include the environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) as one of the possible outcomes. Results suggest that, when a significant relationship between agricultural GHG emissions and productivity growth occurs, it is often monotonic and, though sustainability is accepted for some GHG, no univocal robust evidence of the EKC emerges across the different specifications, estimators and periods. Policy implications of this empirical evidence are finally drawn. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
- Agricultural greenhouse gases emissions
- Agricultural transformation
- Dynamic panel models
- Environmental Kuznets curve