IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Spatial Panel Data Analysis of Economic Growth, Urbanization, and NO x Emissions in China


  • Xiangyu Ge

    (School of Statistics and Mathematics, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan 430073, China)

  • Zhimin Zhou

    (School of Statistics and Mathematics, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan 430073, China)

  • Yanli Zhou

    (School of Finance, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan 430073, China)

  • Xinyue Ye

    (Computational Social Science Laboratory, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44240, USA)

  • Songlin Liu

    (Faculty of Mathematics and Statistics, Hubei University, Wuhan 430062, China)


Is nitrogen oxides emissions spatially correlated in a Chinese context? What is the relationship between nitrogen oxides emission levels and fast-growing economy/urbanization? More importantly, what environmental preservation and economic developing policies should China’s central and local governments take to mitigate the overall nitrogen oxides emissions and prevent severe air pollution at the provincial level in specific locations and their neighboring areas? The present study aims to tackle these issues. This is the first research that simultaneously studies the nexus between nitrogen oxides emissions and economic development/urbanization, with the application of a spatial panel data technique. Our empirical findings suggest that spatial dependence of nitrogen oxides emissions distribution exists at the provincial level. Through the investigation of the existence of an environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) embedded within the Stochastic Impacts by Regression on Population, Affluence, and Technology (STIRPAT) framework, we conclude something interesting: an inverse N-shaped EKC describes both the income-nitrogen oxides nexus and the urbanization-nitrogen oxides nexus. Some well-directed policy advice is provided to reduce nitrogen oxides in the future. Moreover, these results contribute to the literature on development and pollution.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiangyu Ge & Zhimin Zhou & Yanli Zhou & Xinyue Ye & Songlin Liu, 2018. "A Spatial Panel Data Analysis of Economic Growth, Urbanization, and NO x Emissions in China," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 15(4), pages 1-20, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jijerp:v:15:y:2018:i:4:p:725-:d:140616

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gene M. Grossman & Alan B. Krueger, 1995. "Economic Growth and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 353-377.
    2. Song, Tao & Zheng, Tingguo & Tong, Lianjun, 2008. "An empirical test of the environmental Kuznets curve in China: A panel cointegration approach," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 381-392, September.
    3. Song, Ma-Lin & Zhang, Wei & Wang, Shu-Hong, 2013. "Inflection point of environmental Kuznets curve in Mainland China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 14-20.
    4. Markusen, James R. & Morey, Edward R. & Olewiler, Nancy, 1995. "Competition in regional environmental policies when plant locations are endogenous," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 55-77, January.
    5. Brantley Liddle, 2003. "Demographic dynamics and per capita environmental impact: using panel regressions and household decompositions to examine population and transport," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-029, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    6. Panayotou, Theodore, 1997. "Demystifying the environmental Kuznets curve: turning a black box into a policy tool," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(4), pages 465-484, November.
    7. Robert J. Hill & Elisabetta Magnani, 2002. "An Exploration of the Conceptual and Empirical Basis of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 239-254, June.
    8. Torras, Mariano & Boyce, James K., 1998. "Income, inequality, and pollution: a reassessment of the environmental Kuznets Curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 147-160, May.
    9. Anil Rupasingha, 2009. "Value-Added Agricultural Enterprises and Local Economic Performance," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 31(3), pages 511-534.
    10. Giacomini, Raffaella & Granger, Clive W. J., 2004. "Aggregation of space-time processes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 118(1-2), pages 7-26.
    11. Zhimin Zhou & Xinyue Ye & Xiangyu Ge, 2017. "The Impacts of Technical Progress on Sulfur Dioxide Kuznets Curve in China: A Spatial Panel Data Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 9(4), pages 1-27, April.
    12. York, Richard & Rosa, Eugene A. & Dietz, Thomas, 2003. "STIRPAT, IPAT and ImPACT: analytic tools for unpacking the driving forces of environmental impacts," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 351-365, October.
    13. Luc Anselin, 2001. "Spatial Effects in Econometric Practice in Environmental and Resource Economics," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(3), pages 705-710.
    14. Luc Anselin & Daniel A. Griffith, 1988. "Do Spatial Effecfs Really Matter In Regression Analysis?," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 11-34, January.
    15. Anil Rupasingha, 2009. "Value-Added Agricultural Enterprises and Local Economic Performance," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 31(3), pages 511-534, September.
    16. Maddison, David, 2006. "Environmental Kuznets curves: A spatial econometric approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 218-230, March.
    17. Jin Guo & Yingzhi Xu & Zhengning Pu, 2016. "Urbanization and Its Effects on Industrial Pollutant Emissions: An Empirical Study of a Chinese Case with the Spatial Panel Model," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 8(8), pages 1-15, August.
    18. Fredriksson, Per G. & Millimet, Daniel L., 2002. "Strategic Interaction and the Determination of Environmental Policy across U.S. States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 101-122, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Zhen Yang & Weijun Gao & Jiawei Li, 2022. "Can Economic Growth and Environmental Protection Achieve a “Win–Win” Situation? Empirical Evidence from China," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(16), pages 1-21, August.
    2. Haider Mahmood & Muhammad Tanveer & Maham Furqan, 2021. "Rule of Law, Corruption Control, Governance, and Economic Growth in Managing Renewable and Nonrenewable Energy Consumption in South Asia," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(20), pages 1-19, October.
    3. Jiajia Li & Yucong Liu & Houjian Li & Abbas Ali Chandio, 2021. "Heterogeneous Driving Factors of Carbon Emissions Embedded in China’s Export: An Application of the LASSO Model," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(19), pages 1-18, October.
    4. Tifang Ye & Hao Zheng & Xiangyu Ge & Keling Yang, 2021. "Pathway of Green Development of Yangtze River Economics Belt from the Perspective of Green Technological Innovation and Environmental Regulation," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(19), pages 1-26, October.
    5. Jiajia Li & Abbas Ali Chandio & Yucong Liu, 2020. "Trade Impacts on Embodied Carbon Emissions—Evidence from the Bilateral Trade between China and Germany," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 17(14), pages 1-19, July.
    6. Haider Mahmood & Tarek Tawfik Yousef Alkhateeb & Muhammad Tanveer & Doaa H. I. Mahmoud, 2021. "Testing the Energy-Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis in the Renewable and Nonrenewable Energy Consumption Models in Egypt," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(14), pages 1-17, July.
    7. Shi Wang & Yizhou Yuan & Hua Wang, 2019. "Corruption, Hidden Economy and Environmental Pollution: A Spatial Econometric Analysis Based on China’s Provincial Panel Data," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 16(16), pages 1-23, August.
    8. Xiao Gong & Jianing Mi & Chunyan Wei & Ruitao Yang, 2019. "Measuring Environmental and Economic Performance of Air Pollution Control for Province-Level Areas in China," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 16(8), pages 1-19, April.
    9. Xiaohong Chen & Guodong Yi & Jia Liu & Xiang Liu & Yang Chen, 2018. "Evaluating Economic Growth, Industrial Structure, and Water Quality of the Xiangjiang River Basin in China Based on a Spatial Econometric Approach," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 15(10), pages 1-18, September.

    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. Zhimin Zhou, 2019. "The Underground Economy and Carbon Dioxide (CO 2 ) Emissions in China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(10), pages 1-20, May.
    2. Aslanidis Nektarios, 2009. "Environmental Kuznets curves for carbon emissions: A critical survey," wp.comunite 0051, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    3. Nektarios Aslanidis, 2009. "Environmental Kuznets Curves for Carbon Emissions: A Critical Survey," Working Papers 2009.75, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    4. Zhao, Jing & Zhao, Ziru & Zhang, Huan, 2021. "The impact of growth, energy and financial development on environmental pollution in China: New evidence from a spatial econometric analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C).
    5. Chun Liu & Gui-hua Nie, 2021. "Identifying the Driving Factors of Food Nitrogen Footprint in China, 2000–2018: Econometric Analysis of Provincial Spatial Panel Data by the STIRPAT Model," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(11), pages 1-23, May.
    6. Hengzhou Xu & Chuanrong Zhang & Weidong Li & Wenjing Zhang & Hongchun Yin, 2018. "Economic growth and carbon emission in China:a spatial econometric Kuznets curve?," Zbornik radova Ekonomskog fakulteta u Rijeci/Proceedings of Rijeka Faculty of Economics, University of Rijeka, Faculty of Economics and Business, vol. 36(1), pages 11-28.
    7. Sabuj Kumar Mandal & Devleena Chakravarty, 2017. "Role of energy in estimating turning point of Environmental Kuznets Curve: an econometric analysis of the existing studies," Journal of Social and Economic Development, Springer;Institute for Social and Economic Change, vol. 19(2), pages 387-401, October.
    8. He, Jie & Richard, Patrick, 2010. "Environmental Kuznets curve for CO2 in Canada," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 1083-1093, March.
    9. Le Hoang Phong & Dang Thi Bach Van & Ho Hoang Gia Bao, 2018. "The Role of Globalization on CO2 Emission in Vietnam Incorporating Industrialization, Urbanization, GDP per Capita and Energy Use," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 8(6), pages 275-283.
    10. Xiaosheng Li & Xia Yan & Qingxian An & Ke Chen & Zhen Shen, 2016. "The coordination between China’s economic growth and environmental emission from the Environmental Kuznets Curve viewpoint," 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, vol. 83(1), pages 233-252, August.
    11. Danesh Miah, Md. & Farhad Hossain Masum, Md. & Koike, Masao, 2010. "Global observation of EKC hypothesis for CO2, SOx and NOx emission: A policy understanding for climate change mitigation in Bangladesh," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4643-4651, August.
    12. Pascalau, Razvan & Qirjo, Dhimitri, 2017. "TTIP and the Environmental Kuznets Curve," MPRA Paper 80192, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Brajer, Victor & Mead, Robert W. & Xiao, Feng, 2011. "Searching for an Environmental Kuznets Curve in China's air pollution," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 383-397, September.
    14. Hao, Yu & Zhang, Zong-Yong & Liao, Hua & Wei, Yi-Ming, 2015. "China’s farewell to coal: A forecast of coal consumption through 2020," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 444-455.
    15. Piaggio, Matías & Padilla, Emilio, 2012. "CO2 emissions and economic activity: Heterogeneity across countries and non-stationary series," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 370-381.
    16. Aslanidis, Nektarios, 2009. "Environmental Kuznets Curves for Carbon Emissions: A Critical Survey," Working Papers 2072/15847, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    17. Lv, Zhike & Gao, Zhenya, 2021. "The effect of corruption on environmental performance: Does spatial dependence play a role?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 45(2).
    18. Li, Tingting & Wang, Yong & Zhao, Dingtao, 2016. "Environmental Kuznets Curve in China: New evidence from dynamic panel analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 138-147.
    19. Lenzen, Manfred & Wier, Mette & Cohen, Claude & Hayami, Hitoshi & Pachauri, Shonali & Schaeffer, Roberto, 2006. "A comparative multivariate analysis of household energy requirements in Australia, Brazil, Denmark, India and Japan," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 181-207.
    20. Carson, Richard T, 2009. "Searching for Empirical Regularity and Theoretical Structure: The Environmental Kuznets Curve," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt4m6263c2, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.


    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:gam:jijerp:v:15:y:2018:i:4:p:725-:d:140616. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    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: MDPI Indexing Manager (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 hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.