Government expenditure and energy intensity in China
The recent economic stimulus package of China has raised growing concern about its potential impact on energy demand and efficiency. To what extent does such expansion of government expenditure influence energy intensity? This question has not been well answered by the previous research. Using provincial panel data, this paper provides some evidence of a link between government expenditure and energy intensity in China. The empirical results demonstrate that the expansion of government expenditure since Asian financial crisis has exerted a significant influence on energy intensity. An increase in government expenditure in China leads to an increase in energy intensity. Further analysis compares such relationships in different economic situations. The comparison shows that such positive effect of government expenditure remains significant after the alteration in economic situation. Therefore, the results suggest introducing some measures to consolidate China's existing gains in energy efficiency. The analysis also explains why the downward trend in energy intensity is reversed in China since 2002.
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