The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between technology adoption and environmentally sustainable growth in developing countries. Developed countries must first invent the technology they require to reduce their environmental impact, but developing countries have the opportunity to adopt technology that already exists. It is therefore possible for developing countries to accelerate the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) process and begin reducing their environmental harm at earlier stages of development than was possible for countries that were on the technology frontier. Using an adapted Solow Growth model it is shown that the growth path of developing countries will follow an EKC trajectory as the steady state of the economy is approached as long as environmentally sustainable technology is introduced into the economy, and, given the opportunity, countries would rather adopt the clean technology of developed countries than innovate their own dirty technology. The implications are that developing countries can begin reducing their environmental impact before the preferential and compositional shifts, which are traditionally considered necessary by EKC theory, occur. The empirical findings of this paper support this theory and provide evidence that it will become easier and easier for countries to achieve environmentally sustainable growth as long as technological progress in developed countries continues.


Burnell, James






environmental kuznets curve, green solow growth model, environmentally sustainable development

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2012 Nathaniel Wheeler