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Economic growth, urbanization and energy consumption


  • Wei Zheng

    (School of Economics and Development, Wuhan University, China; School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)

  • Patrick Paul Walsh

    (School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)


As the largest developing country, with fast-paced economic growth, China’s development has been characterized by a high degree of energy consumption, high level of heavy industry, international trade and urbanization progress. In this study, we extend the current literature by incorporating urbanization, energy consumption and international trade into a production function using a panel data set model over the period from 2001 to 2012. The results show that urbanization and capital are the major contributors to China’s economic growth. Meanwhile, there exists a “U-shaped” relationship between urbanization and economic growth; that heavy industry exerts a significant negative effect on economic growth by using system generalized methods of moments (GMM-sys) estimation methods; and the relationship between international trade and economic growth is mixed and no consistent results support the conclusion that the international trade promotes economic growth. Adjusting the industry and trade structure in economic growth is now the priority.

Suggested Citation

  • Wei Zheng & Patrick Paul Walsh, 2018. "Economic growth, urbanization and energy consumption," Working Papers 201817, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201817

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    Economic growth; Energy Consumption; Urbanization; Trade;

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