The Financial Kuznets Curve of Energy Consumption: Global Evidence

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In this study, we explore the simultaneous existence of a Financial Kuznets Curve -an inverted U-shape relation between financial development and energy consumption- and Income Kuznets Curve -an inverted U-shape relation between income and energy consumption-for a panel of 85 countries. In terms of the financial Kuznets relation, we compare the effects of three stock market development indicators (i.e., stock market capitalization ratio, stock market value traded, and stock market turnover ratio) with the counterpart effects of three credit market indicators (i.e., domestic credit provided by the banking sector, liquid liabilities, and broad money supply. Drawing on the existing literature, we control for changes in country openness, natural resource endowments, and inflation by applying four methods in parallel: the parametric analysis (dynamic system GMM), and the non-parametric (panel quantile regression) as a robustness check. The results for both Kuznets curves are robust to all four methods. They indicate a simultaneous existence of an income Kuznets curve and a Financial Kuznets Curve when the indicators of the stock market development are considered. However, no Financial Kuznets Curve exists with respect to the credit markets’ development. When the credit markets are considered, only the income Kuznets curve is detected. The existence of a relationship between the stock market development and energy consumption has implications for national energy policies. Stock markets should be used actively for the promotion and funding of “green finance” industrial projects, encouraging innovation and new technologies for cleaner production. Our findings are also useful for crafting different financial development policies for countries that are seeking to encourage or discourage energy consumption.