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Growth, Foreign Direct Investment, And The Environment: Evidence From Chinese Cities

  • Matthew A. Cole
  • Robert J.R. Elliott
  • Jing Zhang

In this paper we investigate the relationship between economic growth and industrial pollution emissions in China using data for 112 major cities between 2001 and 2004. Using disaggregated data we separate FDI inflows from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan from those of other foreign economies. We examine four industrial water pollution indicators (wastewater, chemical oxygen demand, hexavalent chromium compounds, and petroleum-like matter) and four industrial air pollution indicators (waste gas, sulphur dioxide, soot and dust). Our results suggest that most air and water emissions rise with increases in economic growth at current income levels. The share of total output produced by firms from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan has a positive effect on emissions although this effect is only significant for three industrial water pollution emissions. The share of total output produced by firms from other foreign economies can be beneficial, detrimental or neutral, depending on the pollutants considered.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Regional Science.

Volume (Year): 51 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 121-138

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jregsc:v:51:y:2011:i:1:p:121-138
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  1. Shafik, Nemat, 1994. "Economic Development and Environmental Quality: An Econometric Analysis," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 757-73, Supplemen.
  2. Yuquing Xing & Charles Kolstad, 2002. "Do Lax Environmental Regulations Attract Foreign Investment?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(1), pages 1-22, January.
  3. Lucas W. Davis & Matthew E. Kahn, 2008. "International Trade in Used Durable Goods: The Environmental Consequences of NAFTA," NBER Working Papers 14565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J.R. & Shimamoto, Kenichi, 2005. "Industrial characteristics, environmental regulations and air pollution: an analysis of the UK manufacturing sector," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 121-143, July.
  5. Pargal, Sheoli & Wheeler, David, 1996. "Informal Regulation of Industrial Pollution in Developing Countries: Evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1314-27, December.
  6. Selden Thomas M. & Song Daqing, 1994. "Environmental Quality and Development: Is There a Kuznets Curve for Air Pollution Emissions?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 147-162, September.
  7. Werner Antweiler & Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 1998. "Is Free Trade Good for the Environment?," NBER Working Papers 6707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. William Harbaugh & Arik Levinson & David Wilson, 2000. "Reexamining the Empirical Evidence for an Environmental Kuznets Curve," NBER Working Papers 7711, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J. R., 2003. "Determining the trade-environment composition effect: the role of capital, labor and environmental regulations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 363-383, November.
  10. Stern, David I. & Common, Michael S., 2001. "Is There an Environmental Kuznets Curve for Sulfur?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 162-178, March.
  11. Gene M. Grossman & Alan B. Krueger, 1994. "Economic Growth and the Environment," NBER Working Papers 4634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J.R. & Wu, Shanshan, 2008. "Industrial activity and the environment in China: An industry-level analysis," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 393-408, September.
  13. Eskeland, Gunnar S. & Harrison, Ann E., 1997. "Moving to greener pastures : multinationals and the pollution-haven hypothesis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1744, The World Bank.
  14. Matthew A. Cole & Robert J. R. Elliott, 2005. "FDI and the Capital Intensity of "Dirty" Sectors: A Missing Piece of the Pollution Haven Puzzle," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 530-548, November.
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