The Comparative Economics of ICT, Environmental Degradation and Inclusive Human Development in Sub-Saharan Africa
This study examines how information and communication technology (ICT) could be employed to dampen the potentially damaging effects of environmental degradation in order to promote inclusive human development in a panel of 44 Sub-Saharan African countries. ICT is captured with internet and mobile phone penetration rates whereas environmental degradation is measured in terms of CO2 emissions per capita and CO2 intensity. The empirical evidence is based on fixed effects and Tobit regressions using data from 2000 to 2012. In order to increase the policy relevance of this study, the dataset is decomposed into fundamental characteristics of inclusive development and environmental degradation based on income levels (low income vs. middle income); legal origins (English Common law vs. French Civil law); religious domination (Christianity vs. Islam); openness to sea (landlocked vs. coastal); resource-wealth (oil-rich vs. oil-poor) and political stability (stable vs. unstable). Baseline findings broadly show that improvement in both of measures of ICT would significantly diminish the possibly harmful effect of CO2 emissions on inclusive human development. When the analysis is extended with the above mentioned fundamental characteristics, we observe that the moderating influence of both our ICT variables on CO2 emissions is higher in the group of English Common law, middle income and oil-wealthy countries than in the French Civil law, low income countries and oil-poor countries respectively. Theoretical and practical policy implications are discussed.
KeywordsCO2 emissions ICT Economic development Africa
JEL ClassificationC52 O38 O40 O55 P37
The authors are indebted to the editor and reviewers for constructive comments.
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