Integrating Economic Geography and Relative Cohort Size into a Panel Interaction Model of Carbon Dioxide Emissions in the U.S., 2000-2009

Tyler Roberts, University of Colorado at Boulder

The nexus of age-structure and economic growth has received long-running attention in various social science fields of inquiry. Positing that different age cohorts possess exogenously- and endogenously-driven levels of productivity, this line of inquiry argues that aggregate economic growth is a consequence of changing demographics and aging societies. This research leverages these concepts in order to better understand the human dynamics of carbon dioxide emissions. Using a panel model of US state-level data, these estimates illustrate that an aging of the working-age population is a positive determinant of CO2 emissions. At the same time, the size of industrial employment relative is a positive correlate of carbon dioxide emissions. Cross-product interaction effects contrast this picture, where states with younger, more industrialized labor forces possess growing volumes of per capita carbon emissions. This research confirms hypotheses that posit greenhouse gas emissions growth to partially be a consequence of changing age-structures.

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Presented in Poster Session 3