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Urbanization, Economic Development and Environmental Change

Listed author(s):
  • Shushu Li

    ()

    (Institute of Policy and Management, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China)

  • Yong Ma

    ()

    (China Financial Policy Research Center, School of Finance, Renmin University of China, Haidian District, 59 Zhong Guan Cun Street, Beijing 100872, China)

Registered author(s):

    This paper applies the pressure-state-response (PSR) model to establish environmental quality indices for 30 administrative regions in China from 2003 to 2011 and employs panel data analysis to study the relationships among the urbanization rate, economic development and environmental change. The results reveal a remarkable inverted-U-shaped relationship between the urbanization rate and changes in regional environmental quality; the “turning point” generally appears near an urbanization rate of 60%. In addition, the degree and mode of economic development have significant, but anisotropic effects on the regional environment. Generally, at a higher degree of economic development, the environment will tend to improve, but an extensive economic growth program that simply aims to increase GDP has a clear negative impact on the environment. Overall, the results of this paper not only further confirm the “environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis”, but also expand it in a manner. The analysis in this paper implies that the inverted-U-shaped evolving relationship between environmental quality and economic growth (urbanization) is universally applicable.

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    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 6 (2014)
    Issue (Month): 8 (August)
    Pages: 1-19

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:6:y:2014:i:8:p:5143-5161:d:39076
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    1. Vukina, Tomislav & Beghin, John C. & Solakoglu, Ebru G., 1999. "Transition to markets and the environment: Effects of the change in the composition of manufacturing output," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(04), pages 582-598, October.
    2. Stern, David I., 2004. "The Rise and Fall of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1419-1439, August.
    3. Dinda, Soumyananda, 2004. "Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis: A Survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 431-455, August.
    4. Managi, Shunsuke & Jena, Pradyot Ranjan, 2008. "Environmental productivity and Kuznets curve in India," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 432-440, April.
    5. Shafik, Nemat, 1994. "Economic Development and Environmental Quality: An Econometric Analysis," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 757-773, Supplemen.
    6. Halkos, George E. & Tzeremes, Nickolaos G., 2013. "A conditional directional distance function approach for measuring regional environmental efficiency: Evidence from UK regions," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 227(1), pages 182-189.
    7. Osman Zaim & Fatma Taskin, 2000. "A Kuznets Curve in Environmental Efficiency: An Application on OECD Countries," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 17(1), pages 21-36, September.
    8. Managi, Shunsuke, 2006. "Are there increasing returns to pollution abatement? Empirical analytics of the Environmental Kuznets Curve in pesticides," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 617-636, June.
    9. Stern , David I., 1998. "Progress on the environmental Kuznets curve?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(02), pages 173-196, May.
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