IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Assessing the impact of digital economy on green development efficiency in the Yangtze River Economic Belt


  • Luo, Kang
  • Liu, Yaobin
  • Chen, Pei-Fen
  • Zeng, Mingli


From principal component analysis (PCA) of 2011–2019 panel data for 108 cities along China's Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB), this article reports findings on digital economy (DIE) and green development efficiency (GDE). We used a stochastic nonparametric envelopment of data (stoNED) model to measure green development efficiency and a mediating effect model to test the impact of DIE on GDE. We also assessed its mechanisms from a Chinese perspective, finding that (1) DIE significantly promotes GDE in China. (2) Moreover, DIE promotes the GDE in YREB through technological innovation, through the accumulation of human capital and, through upgrades to industrial structures. (3) Furthermore, DIE has heterogeneous effects on GDE. DIE in upstream and downstream regions and in large- scale cities and medium-scale cities can improve GDE, while the effect of DIE in midstream and small-scale cities is not obvious. These results contribute empirical support and a decision-making basis for promoting the win-win situation where DIE and GDE work together. We recommend speeding up the construction and improvement of digital infrastructure, enhancing the enabling capacity of DIE, and implementing a differentiated DIE strategy.

Suggested Citation

  • Luo, Kang & Liu, Yaobin & Chen, Pei-Fen & Zeng, Mingli, 2022. "Assessing the impact of digital economy on green development efficiency in the Yangtze River Economic Belt," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:112:y:2022:i:c:s0140988322002845
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2022.106127

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Guy Michaels & Ashwini Natraj & John Van Reenen, 2010. "Has ICT Polarized Skill Demand? Evidence from Eleven Countries over 25 Years," CEP Discussion Papers dp0987, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
    3. Dominique Guellec, 2020. "Digital Innovation and the Distribution of Income," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring and Accounting for Innovation in the Twenty-First Century, pages 323-370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Ramli, Noor Asiah & Munisamy, Susila, 2015. "Eco-efficiency in greenhouse emissions among manufacturing industries: A range adjusted measure," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 219-227.
    5. Nair, Mahendhiran & Pradhan, Rudra P. & Arvin, Mak B., 2020. "Endogenous dynamics between R&D, ICT and economic growth: Empirical evidence from the OECD countries," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    6. Kuosmanen, Timo & Kortelainen, Mika, 2007. "Valuing environmental factors in cost-benefit analysis using data envelopment analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 56-65, April.
    7. Hoenig, Daniel & Henkel, Joachim, 2015. "Quality signals? The role of patents, alliances, and team experience in venture capital financing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(5), pages 1049-1064.
    8. Wen, Huwei & Lee, Chien-Chiang & Zhou, Fengxiu, 2021. "Green credit policy, credit allocation efficiency and upgrade of energy-intensive enterprises," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C).
    9. Daron Acemoglu & Pascual Restrepo, 2018. "The Race between Man and Machine: Implications of Technology for Growth, Factor Shares, and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(6), pages 1488-1542, June.
    10. Lee, Chi-Chuan & Lee, Chien-Chiang, 2022. "How does green finance affect green total factor productivity? Evidence from China," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C).
    11. Chien-Chiang Lee & Mei-Ping Chen & Wenmin Wu & Wenwu Xing, 2021. "The impacts of ICTs on tourism development: International evidence based on a panel quantile approach," Information Technology & Tourism, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 509-547, December.
    12. Lv, Chengchao & Shao, Changhua & Lee, Chien-Chiang, 2021. "Green technology innovation and financial development: Do environmental regulation and innovation output matter?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C).
    13. Hsieh, Meng-Fen & Lee, Chien-Chiang & Lin, Yi-Ching, 2022. "New evidence on liquidity creation and bank capital: The roles of liquidity and political risk," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 778-794.
    14. Zhao, Nan & Liu, Xiaojie & Pan, Changfeng & Wang, Chenyang, 2021. "The performance of green innovation: From an efficiency perspective," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    15. Richard Perkins & Eric Neumayer, 2008. "Fostering Environment Efficiency through Transnational Linkages? Trajectories of CO2 and SO2, 1980–2000," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 40(12), pages 2970-2989, December.
    16. Wu, Yizhong & Lee, Chien-Chiang & Lee, Chi-Chuan & Peng, Diyun, 2022. "Geographic proximity and corporate investment efficiency: Evidence from high-speed rail construction in China," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    17. Guo, Qingbin & Wang, Yong & Dong, Xiaobin, 2022. "Effects of smart city construction on energy saving and CO2 emission reduction: Evidence from China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 313(C).
    18. Watanabe, Chihiro & Naveed, Kashif & Tou, Yuji & Neittaanmäki, Pekka, 2018. "Measuring GDP in the digital economy: Increasing dependence on uncaptured GDP," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 226-240.
    19. Lee, Jung Wan, 2013. "The contribution of foreign direct investment to clean energy use, carbon emissions and economic growth," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 483-489.
    20. Yelena D. Vaisman & Natalya S. Nikiforova, 2018. "Development of Industrial Enterprises' Dynamic Capabilities in the Digital Economy," Journal of New Economy, Ural State University of Economics, vol. 19(3), pages 126-136, June.
    21. Zhou, Fengxiu & Wen, Huwei & Lee, Chien-Chiang, 2022. "Broadband infrastructure and export growth," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(5).
    22. Lee, Chien-Chiang & Yuan, Zihao & Wang, Qiaoru, 2022. "How does information and communication technology affect energy security? International evidence," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C).
    23. Jonas Hjort & Jonas Poulsen, 2019. "The Arrival of Fast Internet and Employment in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(3), pages 1032-1079, March.
    24. Lee, Chien-Chiang & Xing, Wenwu & Lee, Chi-Chuan, 2022. "The impact of energy security on income inequality: The key role of economic development," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 248(C).
    25. Liu, Min & Lee, Chien-Chiang, 2022. "Is gold a long-run hedge, diversifier, or safe haven for oil? Empirical evidence based on DCC-MIDAS," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    26. Guy Michaels & Ashwini Natraj & John Van Reenen, 2014. "Has ICT Polarized Skill Demand? Evidence from Eleven Countries over Twenty-Five Years," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 60-77, March.
    27. Wu, Haitao & Hao, Yu & Ren, Siyu & Yang, Xiaodong & Xie, Guo, 2021. "Does internet development improve green total factor energy efficiency? Evidence from China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 153(C).
    28. Lange, Steffen & Pohl, Johanna & Santarius, Tilman, 2020. "Digitalization and energy consumption. Does ICT reduce energy demand?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 176(C).
    29. Moyer, Jonathan D. & Hughes, Barry B., 2012. "ICTs: Do they contribute to increased carbon emissions?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 79(5), pages 919-931.
    30. Peitz, Martin & Waldfogel, Joel, 2012. "The Oxford Handbook of the Digital Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195397840.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Zhu, Chen & Lee, Chien-Chiang, 2022. "The effects of low-carbon pilot policy on technological innovation: Evidence from prefecture-level data in China," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 183(C).
    2. Wen, Huwei & Wen, Changyong & Lee, Chien-Chiang, 2022. "Impact of digitalization and environmental regulation on total factor productivity," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    3. Wen, Huwei & Liang, Weitao & Lee, Chien-Chiang, 2022. "Urban broadband infrastructure and green total-factor energy efficiency in China," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    4. Chen, Yang & Cheng, Liang & Lee, Chien-Chiang, 2022. "How does the use of industrial robots affect the ecological footprint? International evidence," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 198(C).
    5. Lee, Chien-Chiang & Zeng, Mingli & Luo, Kang, 2023. "Food security and digital economy in China: A pathway towards sustainable development," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 1106-1125.
    6. Lee, Chien-Chiang & Qin, Shuai & Li, Yaya, 2022. "Does industrial robot application promote green technology innovation in the manufacturing industry?," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 183(C).
    7. Lee, Chien-Chiang & He, Zhi-Wen & Xiao, Fu, 2022. "How does information and communication technology affect renewable energy technology innovation? International evidence," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 200(C), pages 546-557.
    8. Lv, Chengchao & Song, Jie & Lee, Chien-Chiang, 2022. "Can digital finance narrow the regional disparities in the quality of economic growth? Evidence from China," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 502-521.
    9. Lee, Chien-Chiang & Tang, Manting & Lee, Chi-Chuan, 2023. "Reaping digital dividends: Digital inclusive finance and high-quality development of enterprises in China," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(2).
    10. Wen, Huwei & Zhong, Qiming & Lee, Chien-Chiang, 2022. "Digitalization, competition strategy and corporate innovation: Evidence from Chinese manufacturing listed companies," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    11. Hussain, Jafar & Lee, Chien-Chiang & Chen, Yongxiu, 2022. "Optimal green technology investment and emission reduction in emissions generating companies under the support of green bond and subsidy," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 183(C).
    12. Charfeddine, Lanouar & Umlai, Mohamed, 2023. "ICT sector, digitization and environmental sustainability: A systematic review of the literature from 2000 to 2022," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 184(C).
    13. Zhu, Chen & Jin, Zhuo & Lee, Chien-Chiang, 2022. "The impact of informal care from children to their elderly parents on self-employment? Evidence from China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 117(C).
    14. Lee, Chien-Chiang & Yuan, Zihao & Ho, Shan-Ju, 2022. "How does export diversification affect income inequality? International evidence," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 410-421.
    15. Songqin Zhao & Diyun Peng & Huwei Wen & Huilin Song, 2022. "Does the Digital Economy Promote Upgrading the Industrial Structure of Chinese Cities?," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(16), pages 1-19, August.
    16. Wang, Jianlong & Wang, Weilong & Liu, Yong & Wu, Haitao, 2023. "Can industrial robots reduce carbon emissions? Based on the perspective of energy rebound effect and labor factor flow in China," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).
    17. Wang, Linhui & Wang, Hui & Cao, Zhanglu & He, Yongda & Dong, Zhiqing & Wang, Shixiang, 2022. "Can industrial intellectualization reduce carbon emissions? — Empirical evidence from the perspective of carbon total factor productivity in China," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 184(C).
    18. Mbondo, Georges Dieudonné & Bouwawe, Duclo, 2023. "Transformation digitale et transformation structurelle dans les économies d’Afrique Sub-Saharienne (ASS) : les effets variés des technologies de l’information et de la communication (TIC) [Digital ," MPRA Paper 117541, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Wang, En-Ze & Lee, Chien-Chiang & Li, Yaya, 2022. "Assessing the impact of industrial robots on manufacturing energy intensity in 38 countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C).
    20. Lee, Chien-Chiang & Hussain, Jafar & Chen, Yongxiu, 2022. "The optimal behavior of renewable energy resources and government's energy consumption subsidy design from the perspective of green technology implementation," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 195(C), pages 670-680.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:112:y:2022:i:c:s0140988322002845. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.