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Growth, Foreign Direct Investment and the Environment: Evidence from Chinese Cities

  • Cole, Matthew A.
  • Elliott, Robert J.R.
  • Zhang, Jing

In this paper we investigate the relationship between economic growth and industrial pollution emissions in China using data for 112 major cities between 2001 and 2004. Using disaggregated data we separate FDI inflows from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan from those of other foreign economies. We examine four industrial water pollution indicators (wastewater, chemical oxygen demand, hexavalent chromium compounds, and petroleum-like matter) and four industrial air pollution indicators (waste gas, sulphur dioxide, soot and dust). Our results suggest that most air and water emissions rise with increases in economic growth at current income levels. The share of total output produced by firms from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan has a positive effect on emissions although this effect is only significant for three industrial water pollution emissions. The share of total output produced by firms from other foreign economies can be beneficial, detrimental or neutral, depending on the pollutants considered.

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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics in its series Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Frankfurt a.M. 2009 with number 41.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec09:41
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  1. David I. Stern & Tony Auld & Michael S. Common & Kali K. Sanyal, 1998. "Is there an environmental Kuznets curve for sulfur?," Working Papers in Ecological Economics 9804, Australian National University, Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, Ecological Economics Program.
  2. William Harbaugh & Arik Levinson & David Wilson, 2000. "Reexamining the Empirical Evidence for an Environmental Kuznets Curve," NBER Working Papers 7711, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Selden Thomas M. & Song Daqing, 1994. "Environmental Quality and Development: Is There a Kuznets Curve for Air Pollution Emissions?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 147-162, September.
  4. Werner Antweiler & Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2001. "Is Free Trade Good for the Environment?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 877-908, September.
  5. Grossman, Gene M & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Economic Growth and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 353-77, May.
  6. Yuquing Xing & Charles Kolstad, 2002. "Do Lax Environmental Regulations Attract Foreign Investment?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(1), pages 1-22, January.
  7. Shafik, Nemat, 1994. "Economic Development and Environmental Quality: An Econometric Analysis," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 757-73, Supplemen.
  8. Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J.R. & Shimamoto, Kenichi, 2005. "Industrial characteristics, environmental regulations and air pollution: an analysis of the UK manufacturing sector," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 121-143, July.
  9. Matthew A. Cole & Robert J. R. Elliott, 2005. "FDI and the Capital Intensity of "Dirty" Sectors: A Missing Piece of the Pollution Haven Puzzle," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(4), pages 530-548, November.
  10. Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J. R., 2003. "Determining the trade-environment composition effect: the role of capital, labor and environmental regulations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 363-383, November.
  11. Gunnar A. Eskeland & Ann E. Harrison, 2002. "Moving to Greener Pastures? Multinationals and the Pollution Haven Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 8888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J.R. & Wu, Shanshan, 2008. "Industrial activity and the environment in China: An industry-level analysis," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 393-408, September.
  13. Lucas W. Davis & Matthew E. Kahn, 2008. "International Trade in Used Durable Goods: The Environmental Consequences of NAFTA," NBER Working Papers 14565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Pargal, Sheoli & Wheeler, David, 1996. "Informal Regulation of Industrial Pollution in Developing Countries: Evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1314-27, December.
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