Research on the carbon intensity of well-being (CIWB), a measure representing a country's development in terms of both environmental and human well-being, often explores the role of economic development, while the effects of other aspects of global integration remain under-explored. I use macro-comparative sociological perspectives to investigate the extent to which theories of global integration help explain variation in countries’ CIWB over time. I evaluate propositions drawn from neoinstitutional world society and world polity theories using longitudinal modeling techniques to analyze data from 81 countries from 1990 to 2011. I also examine subsets of more and less developed countries and compare production- and consumption-based measures of CIWB. I find that world society/world polity integration is associated with a reduction in CIWB only in more developed nations, and only when using the production measure for CO2 emissions, highlighting the complexities of sustainable development in an unequal global system.

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