Studies analyzing the environmental impacts of economic growth and
considering the nexus between the stages of development remain popular since the 90s.
The Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis suggests that there is an inverted-U-shape relationship between per capita income and damage to the environment. Within
the vast EKC literature, various variables that may have an impact on environmental
pollution were included in the models. However, studies examine the effect of education
on environmental quality are relatively new. In this study, the EKC hypothesis is tested
in terms of per capita income and education level by using data from the period of 1998-
2014 of 47 countries. Environmental pollution is measured by carbon dioxide per capita;
income level is measured by GDP per capita, and education level is measured by the
number of students enrolled in tertiary education and the share of public expenditures
on education in GDP. According to the empirical findings; (i) The Environmental Kuznets
Curve hypothesis is confirmed for only the number of students enrolled in tertiary
education, (ii) there is a significant and negative relationship between the share of
public expenditures on education in GDP and CO2 emissions. Therefore education can
be evaluated as a powerful tool for environmental policy.