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Structural Change and Its Impact on the Energy Intensity of Agricultural Sector in China

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  • Hongyun Han

    () (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, School of Public Affairs, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China)

  • Shu Wu

    () (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, School of Public Affairs, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
    School of Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China)

Abstract

China’s agricultural structure has undergone significant changes for the past four decades, mainly presenting as the fall of sown proportion of grain crops and the rise of vegetables, as has its energy consumption. Employing the panel data on 30 provinces during 1991–2016, this paper empirically explores the impact of agricultural structure changes (ASC) on the energy intensity of agricultural production (EIAP), direct energy intensity of agricultural production (DEIAP) and indirect energy intensity of agricultural production (IEIAP) in China. Besides, the regional heterogeneity of such impact is examined. The results show that: (1) ASC increases EIAP and IEIAP significantly, while ASC decreases DEIAP, which is explained by the structural effect and different planting modes of different crops; (2) the impact in the three administrative regions is similar to national situation, except the impact of ASC on DEIAP in the West Region, which is explained by regional differences of vegetable mechanization; (3) the result of the six vegetable production regions reveals greater regional heterogeneity, and this is attributed to the scale economy effect and the incremental effect of vegetable mechanization; and (4) fuel price, income, agricultural labor, old dependency ratio, and fiscal expenditure have different but significant impacts on EIAP, DEIAP, and IEIAP. Finally, some policy implications are given.

Suggested Citation

  • Hongyun Han & Shu Wu, 2018. "Structural Change and Its Impact on the Energy Intensity of Agricultural Sector in China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(12), pages 1-23, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:12:p:4591-:d:187872
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    Keywords

    agricultural structure changes; energy intensity; regional heterogeneity; mechanization; chemical fertilizers;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • 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
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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