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Francqui Leerstoel - Francqui Chair 2021

Inaugural lecture

Logo UHasselt Universiteit Hasselt - Knowledge in action



10:15 Prof. dr. Bernard Vanheusden -- Rector of UHasselt 
Prof. dr. Piet Pauwels – Dean of the Faculty of Business Economics
10:30 Prof. David I. Stern, PhD – Francqui chair holder
11:30 Discussion


Please use the chat to ask questions during the lecture and the discussion. The questions will be collected and asked to Prof. David Stern during the discussion. We hope for an active and lively discussion. The lecture will be recorded and made available on this webpage.


What is the relationship between economic growth and environmental quality? The environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis proposes that growth initially damages the environment but at higher income levels eventually improves the quality of the environment. The EKC has been a very popular idea over the last three decades despite being criticized almost from the start. The lecture will first review the history of the EKC and alternative approaches. Then applying an approach that synthesizes the EKC and alternative convergence approaches, it will show that convergence and non-growth time-related effects are important for explaining both pollution emissions and concentrations. Future research should focus on developing and testing alternative theoretical models and investigating the non-growth drivers of pollution reduction.

CV of Professor David I. Stern