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The Greenness of China: Household Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Urban Development

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  • Siqi Zheng
  • Rui Wang
  • Edward L. Glaeser
  • Matthew E. Kahn

Abstract

China urbanization is associated with both increases in per-capita income and greenhouse gas emissions. This paper uses micro data to rank 74 major Chinese cities with respect to their household carbon footprint. We find that the “greenest” cities based on this criterion are Huaian and Suqian while the “dirtiest” cities are Daqing and Mudanjiang. Even in the dirtiest city (Daqing), a standardized household produces only one-fifth of that in America’s greenest city (San Diego). We find that the average January temperature is strongly negatively correlated with a city’s household carbon footprint, which suggests that current regional economic development policies that bolster the growth of China’s northeastern cities are likely to increase emissions. We use our city specific income elasticity estimates to predict the growth of carbon emissions in China’s cities.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15621.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Publication status: published as Siqi Zheng & Rui Wang & Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2011. "The greenness of China: household carbon dioxide emissions and urban development," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(5), pages 761-792, September.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15621

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  1. Auffhammer, Maximilian & Carson, Richard T., 2008. "Forecasting the path of China's CO2 emissions using province-level information," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 229-247, May.
  2. Glaeser, Edward L. & Kahn, Matthew E., 2010. "The greenness of cities: Carbon dioxide emissions and urban development," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 404-418, May.
  3. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Selden, Thomas M., 1995. "Stoking the fires? CO2 emissions and economic growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 85-101, May.
  4. Nicholas Stern, 2008. "The Economics of Climate Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 1-37, May.
  5. Alexander Pfaff & Shubham Chaudhuri & Howard Nye, 2004. "Household Production and Environmental Kuznets Curves – Examining the Desirability and Feasibility of Substitution," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 27(2), pages 187-200, February.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Urbanization and Economic Development
    by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2012-06-10 22:13:00
  2. “Green People Power” in China
    by Matthew E. Kahn in The Reality-Based Community on 2012-10-28 22:09:57
  3. The Rise of the Low Carbon Consumer City
    by Matthew E. Kahn in Legal Planet on 2013-01-26 20:17:25
  4. My Harvard Business Review Blog Piece on China's Bullet Trains and a History of My Economic Thought About China
    by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2013-04-08 15:50:00
  5. Exploring Green Cities in China
    by Matthew Kahn in Urbanization Project on 2013-04-09 23:17:09
  6. Krugman on Carbon Mitigation, Self Interest and Ideology
    by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2014-06-09 17:37:00
  7. Electricity Demand in China
    by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2011-12-27 17:01:00
  8. China's Future Green Cities
    by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2011-12-02 16:10:00
  9. Some Links for Today
    by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2011-08-20 18:13:00
  10. Ranking Cities
    by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2011-05-04 04:14:00
  11. China Goes Green?
    by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2011-04-02 02:20:00
  12. Ed Glaeser's "Triumph of the City" is Published!
    by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2011-02-10 15:15:00
  13. Low Carbon Cities in the U.S and China
    by Matthew Kahn in the reality-based community on 2011-02-26 17:31:17
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Zheng, Siqi & Wu, Jing & Kahn, Matthew E. & Deng, Yongheng, 2012. "The nascent market for “green” real estate in Beijing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 974-984.
  2. Siqi Zheng & Matthew E. Kahn, 2013. "Understanding China's Urban Pollution Dynamics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 731-72, September.
  3. Du, Limin & Wei, Chu & Cai, Shenghua, 2012. "Economic development and carbon dioxide emissions in China: Provincial panel data analysis," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 371-384.
  4. Jingkui Zhou, 2011. "Climate change, health and migration in urban China," Frontiers of Economics in China, Springer, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 592-615, December.
  5. Piet Eichholtz & Nils Kok & John M. Quigley, 2013. "The Economics of Green Building," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 50-63, March.
  6. Deng, Yongheng & Li, Zhiliang & Quigley, John M., 2012. "Economic returns to energy-efficient investments in the housing market: Evidence from Singapore," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 506-515.

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