Are greenhouse gas emissions and cognitive skills related? Cross-country evidence

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Abstract

Are greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and cognitive skills (CS) related? We attempt to answer this question by exploring this relationship, using cross-country data for 150 countries, for the period 1997–2012. After controlling for the level of economic development, quality of political regimes, population size and a number of other controls, we document that CS robustly predict GHG. In particular, when CS at a national level increase by one standard deviation, the average annual rate of air pollution changes by nearly 1.7% (slightly less than one half of a standard deviation). This significance holds for a number of robustness checks.

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