2006 Volume 15 Issue 1 Pages 73-85
Countries in the world, especially developing countries, are under pressure to deal with a variety of environmental problems, such as industrial pollution, urban environmental issues, and global warming, while they are expected to simultaneously achieve high economic growth. In this context, they urgently need to leapfrog over environmental difficulties through progressive environmental management, using their “latecomer's advantage” to the maximum extent possible. This study examined whether or not East Asian economies actually enjoy the latecomer's advantage in the area of environmental management, utilizing the analytical framework of the environmental Kuznets curve. The study's main findings are as follows: (1) the time-series EK curves of their economies are consistent with the hypothesis that they do enjoy the latecomer's advantage, and (2) a regression analysis using panel data provides significant confirmation of the existence of the latecomer's advantage for addressing the well known environmental problem of sulfur and carbon emissions.