This study decomposed the determinants of environmental quality into scale, technique, and composition effects. We applied a semiparametric method of generalized additive models, which enabled us to use flexible functional forms and include several independent variables in the model. The differences in the technique effect were found to play a crucial role in reducing pollution. We found that the technique effect was sufficient to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions. On the other hand, its effect was not enough to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and energy use, except for the case of CO2 emissions in high-income countries.
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