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Openness and the Environmental Kuznets Curve: Evidence from China

  • Jayanthakumaran, Kankesu
  • Liu, Ying

This paper investigates the relationship in China between trade, growth and emissions using provincial-level data for water (chemical oxygen demand: COD) and air (sulphur dioxide: SO2). It analyses the period 1990–2007 in three steps. First, the income ‘turning point’ of the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) has been estimated using quadratic log function and obtained a turning point consistent with existing studies. Second, adopting Dean's (2002) simultaneous equations system, the relationships between trade, growth and emissions has been estimated and the results confirm the dominance of scale effects over technique effects. Third, the estimated per capita turning point for EKC is used to split the provincial industrial database into two groups (below and above turning point income) and simultaneous equations are estimated separately for them. The split sample provided limited support for the trade-induced emissions hypothesis for COD, but not for SO2. At the provincial level rising incomes via increased levels of international trade were associated with falling COD due to the technique effect, so that rising incomes among the provinces tended to be associated with lower emissions. Stricter environmental regulations are required for growing incomes because they may encourage better production techniques.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.

Volume (Year): 29 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 566-576

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:29:y:2012:i:3:p:566-576
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30411

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  1. Shen, Junyi, 2006. "A simultaneous estimation of Environmental Kuznets Curve: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 383-394.
  2. Judith M. Dean & Mary E. Lovely, 2010. "Trade Growth, Production Fragmentation, and China's Environment," NBER Chapters, in: China's Growing Role in World Trade, pages 429-469 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Grossman, Gene M & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Economic Growth and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 353-77, May.
  5. Joseph C. H. Chai, 2002. "Trade and environment: evidence from China's manufacturing sector," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(1), pages 25-35.
  6. Matthieu Llorca & Andre Meunie, 2009. "SO2 emissions and the environmental Kuznets curve: the case of Chinese provinces," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 1-16.
  7. David I. Stern, 2003. "The Rise and Fall of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0302, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
  8. Shunsuke Managi & Shinji Kaneko, 2006. "Economic growth and the environment in China: an empirical analysis of productivity," International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 6(1), pages 89-133.
  9. Judith M. Dean, 2002. "Does trade liberalization harm the environment? A new test," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(4), pages 819-842, November.
  10. De GROOT, HENRI L.F. & WITHAGEN, CEES A. & MINLIANG, ZHOU, 2004. "Dynamics of China's regional development and pollution: an investigation into the Environmental Kuznets Curve," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(04), pages 507-537, August.
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