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Income inequality and carbon dioxide emissions: The case of Chinese urban households

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  • Golley, Jane
  • Meng, Xin

Abstract

This paper draws on Chinese survey data to investigate variations in carbon dioxide emissions across households with different income levels. Rich households generate more emissions per capita than poor households via both their direct energy consumption and their higher expenditure on goods and services that use energy as an intermediate input. An econometric analysis confirms a positive relationship between emissions and income and establishes a slightly increasing marginal propensity to emit (MPE) over the relevant income range. The redistribution of income from rich to poor households is therefore shown to reduce aggregate household emissions, suggesting that the twin pursuits of reducing inequality and emissions can be achieved in tandem.

Suggested Citation

  • Golley, Jane & Meng, Xin, 2012. "Income inequality and carbon dioxide emissions: The case of Chinese urban households," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1864-1872.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:34:y:2012:i:6:p:1864-1872 DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2012.07.025
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    Cited by:

    1. Mohammad Iqbal Irfany, 2015. "Inequality in emissions: Evidence from Indonesian households," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 177, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    2. Zhang, Chuanguo & Zhao, Wei, 2014. "Panel estimation for income inequality and CO2 emissions: A regional analysis in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, pages 382-392.
    3. Lilia Endriana & Djoni Hartono & Tony Irawan, 2016. "Green economy priority sectors in Indonesia: a SAM approach," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 18(1), pages 115-135, January.
    4. Hasan, Syed Abul & Mozumder, Pallab, 2017. "Income and energy use in Bangladesh: A household level analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, pages 115-126.
    5. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:9:p:1563-:d:110715 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Chang, Kai & Chang, Hao, 2016. "Cutting CO2 intensity targets of interprovincial emissions trading in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, pages 211-221.
    7. repec:eee:appene:v:207:y:2017:i:c:p:520-532 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Jiansheng Qu & Tek Maraseni & Lina Liu & Zhiqiang Zhang & Talal Yusaf, 2015. "A Comparison of Household Carbon Emission Patterns of Urban and Rural China over the 17 Year Period (1995–2011)," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(9), pages 1-21, September.
    9. repec:eee:rensus:v:81:y:2018:i:p1:p:1350-1364 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Wang, Feng & Zhang, Bing, 2016. "Distributional incidence of green electricity price subsidies in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 27-38.
    11. Miguel Rodríguez & Yolanda Pena-Boquete, 2013. "Mishandling carbon intensities," Working Papers 1302, Universidade de Vigo, Departamento de Economía Aplicada.
    12. Yuan, Baolong & Ren, Shenggang & Chen, Xiaohong, 2015. "The effects of urbanization, consumption ratio and consumption structure on residential indirect CO2 emissions in China: A regional comparative analysis," Applied Energy, Elsevier, pages 94-106.
    13. Tolga Kaya, 2017. "Unraveling the Energy use Network of Construction Sector in Turkey using Structural Path Analysis," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, pages 31-43.
    14. Xu, Xinkuo & Han, Liyan & Lv, Xiaofeng, 2016. "Household carbon inequality in urban China, its sources and determinants," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 77-86.
    15. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:7:p:1277-:d:105335 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Isaksen, Elisabeth T. & Narbel, Patrick A., 2017. "A carbon footprint proportional to expenditure - A case for Norway?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 152-165.
    17. Mladenović, Igor & Sokolov-Mladenović, Svetlana & Milovančević, Milos & Marković, Dušan & Simeunović, Nenad, 2016. "Management and estimation of thermal comfort, carbon dioxide emission and economic growth by support vector machine," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 466-476.
    18. repec:spr:nathaz:v:88:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11069-017-2888-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Lan-Cui Liu & Gang Wu & Yue-Jun Zhang, 2015. "Investigating the residential energy consumption behaviors in Beijing: a survey study," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, pages 243-263.
    20. Chen, Shiyi & Golley, Jane, 2014. "‘Green’ productivity growth in China's industrial economy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, pages 89-98.
    21. repec:wsi:serxxx:v:62:y:2017:i:02:n:s0217590817400239 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Xie, Rong-hui & Yuan, Yi-jun & Huang, Jing-jing, 2017. "Different Types of Environmental Regulations and Heterogeneous Influence on “Green” Productivity: Evidence from China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 104-112.
    23. Ramachandra, T.V. & Bajpai, Vishnu & Kulkarni, Gouri & Aithal, Bharath H. & Han, Sun Sheng, 2017. "Economic disparity and CO2 emissions: The domestic energy sector in Greater Bangalore, India," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 1331-1344.
    24. Liu, Hongtao & Polenske, Karen R. & Guilhoto, Joaquim José Martins & Xi, Youmin, 2014. "Direct and indirect energy use in China and the United States," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 414-420.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income inequality; Carbon dioxide emissions; Household consumption; Urban China;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • D57 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Input-Output Tables and Analysis
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General

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