Analysis of the Waste Kuznets Curve and of the Success Factors in Waste Management Strategies: Evidence from European Countries and Analysis of the Danish Case

Stefano Carpano

Student thesis: Master thesis


The Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) is a hypothesized relationship between various indicators of environmental degradation and economic growth. A specific application of the EKC, the Waste Kuznets Curve (WKC), restricts the focus to the environmental degradation caused by waste. In the present paper, a first model is develop in order to investigate the existence of a U-shaped relationship between economic growth and waste–related environmental degradation. In order to account for the latter, two different indicators are employed: the amount of waste landfilled and the amount of waste generated. The econometric analysis provides some evidence of the existence of a curve in the case of waste landfilled, while for waste generation there was a linear direct relationship. The existence of the curve in the first case is supported by the evidence of an improvement of the waste management performance of the countries, after having reached a certain stage of economic growth. The second model is dedicated to investigate how countries can contribute to improving their waste management performance causing the downward shift in the curve. This is done taking into account four possible drivers, investigating which is their impact on waste management performance. A panel data containing the European Countries is created and an empirical model is developed in order to carry out the two analysis. The study concludes explaining the specific position of Denmark in the right part of the EKC, highlighting it as a virtuous example considering their continuous progress towards better waste management practices and towards the implementation of a circular economy.

EducationsMSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages80
SupervisorsLuise Noring