Advertisement

Environmental Performance and Regulation Effect of China’s Atmospheric Pollutant Emissions: Evidence from “Three Regions and Ten Urban Agglomerations”

  • Zhuang Miao
  • Tomas Baležentis
  • Zhihua Tian
  • Shuai ShaoEmail author
  • Yong Geng
  • Rui Wu
Article
  • 48 Downloads

Abstract

This paper employs the slack-based measure method and an extended Luenberger productivity indicator to estimate and decompose the atmospheric environmental performance under the constraints of energy and atmospheric pollutant emissions [i.e., the growth of the atmospheric environment total factor productivity (AETFP)] of the “three regions and ten urban agglomerations” (TRTAs) in China. Specifically, undesirable output is considered as both carbon and air pollutant emissions, i.e., CO2, SO2, and NOx emissions. Also, based on the proposed approach, we identify the different paths of the technical change as a crucial driver of the AETFP growth. Furthermore, using the spatial econometric model with a symmetric geographical distance weight matrix and an asymmetric economic geography weight matrix, we investigate the effect of different types of environmental regulation on the AETFP growth to verify the Porter hypothesis in China. The results show that the main drivers of China’s atmospheric environment inefficiency are air pollutant emissions (SO2 and NOx), carbon emissions, and fossil energy use. Spatially, the environment inefficiency presents a decreasing trend from northern China to southern China. The improved performance of SO2 emissions made more contributions to the AETFP growth during China’s 11th “Five-Year Plan” period (2006–2010), while NOx emissions has a marginal positive effect on the AETFP growth is marginal. Despite the differences in the technical change across regions, the technical progress offsets the negative impact of declining technical efficiency on the AETFP growth. Overall, energy-saving and emission-reduction policies and technologies in TRTAs exert a decisive influence on the AETFP growth. In particular, the spatial econometric results indicate that the market-motivated environmental regulation has a positive effect on the AETFP growth and thus conforms to the Porter hypothesis in China but does not cause the “race-to-the-bottom” effect among local governments, while the command-and-control oriented regulation leads to a “race-to-the-bottom” effect and undermines the AETFP growth.

Keywords

Environmental performance Environmental regulation Atmospheric pollutant emissions Decomposition Spatial lag X model China 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We acknowledge the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 71403120, 71773075, 71373153, 71690241, 71810107001, 71325006, and 71804071), the Major Research Plan of National Social Science Foundation of China (Nos. 18ZDA051 and 18ZDA052), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2016YFA0602500), Jiangsu Province (China) Natural Science Foundation (No. BK20151351), Jiangsu Province (China) Fifth “333 Engineering” Research Project (No. BRA2017176), the Project of Philosophy and Social Science Research in Colleges and Universities in Jiangsu Province (China) (No. 2015ZDIXM039), and the Qing Lan Project. We also thank Dr. Jichuan Sheng for his helpful comments for this study.

References

  1. Afriat S (1972) Efficiency estimation of production functions. Int Econ Rev 13:568–598Google Scholar
  2. Albrizio S, Kozluk T, Zipperer V (2017) Environmental policies and productivity growth: evidence across industries and firms. J Environ Econ Manag 81:209–226Google Scholar
  3. Ambec S, Cohen MA, Elgie S, Lanoie P (2013) The Porter hypothesis at 20: can environmental regulation enhance innovation and competitiveness? Rev Environ Econ Policy 7(1):2–22Google Scholar
  4. Anderson D (2001) Technical progress and pollution abatement: an economic view of selected technologies and practices. Environ Dev Econ 6(3):283–311Google Scholar
  5. Azad MAS, Ancev T (2014) Measuring environmental efficiency of agricultural water use: a Luenberger environmental indicator. J Environ Manag 145:314–320Google Scholar
  6. Banker R, Charnes A, Cooper WW (1984) Some models for estimating technical and scale inefficiencies in data envelopment analysis. Manag Sci 30:1078–1092Google Scholar
  7. Boussemart J, Briec W, Kerstens K, Poutineau J (2003) Luenberger and Malmquist productivity indices: theoretical comparisons and empirical illustration. Bull Econ Res 55(4):391–405Google Scholar
  8. Brandt L, Van Biesebroeck J, Zhang Y (2012) Creative accounting or creative destruction? Firm-level productivity growth in Chinese manufacturing. J Dev Econ 97(2):339–351Google Scholar
  9. Chan CK, Yao X (2008) Air pollution in mega cities in China. Atmos Environ 42:1–42Google Scholar
  10. Chang T, Hu J (2010) Total-factor energy productivity growth, technical progress, and efficiency change: an empirical study of China. Appl Energy 87(10):3262–3270Google Scholar
  11. Chen S, Golley J (2014) “Green” productivity growth in China’s industrial economy. Energy Econ 44:89–98Google Scholar
  12. Chen S, Jefferson GH, Zhang J (2011) Structural change, productivity growth and industrial transformation in China. China Econ Rev 22(1):133–150Google Scholar
  13. Chen JD, Cheng SL, Nikic V, Song ML (2018) Quo Vadis? Major players in global coal consumption and emissions reduction. Transform Bus Econ 17(1):112–132Google Scholar
  14. Dean JM, Lovely ME, Wang H (2009) Are foreign investors attracted to weak environmental regulations? Evaluating the evidence from China. J Dev Econ 90(1):1–13Google Scholar
  15. Debreu G (1951) The coefficient of resource utilization. Econometrica 19:273–292Google Scholar
  16. Deng H, Zheng X, Huang N, Li F (2012) Strategic interaction in spending on environmental protection: spatial evidence from Chinese cities. China World Econ 20(5):103–120Google Scholar
  17. Dirzyte A, Rakauskiene OG (2016) Green consumption: the gap between attitudes and behaviours. Transform Bus Econ 15:523–538Google Scholar
  18. Du M, Wang B, Wu YR (2014) Sources of China’s economic growth: an empirical analysis based on the BML index with green growth accounting. Sustainability 6:5983–6004Google Scholar
  19. Elhorst JP (2003) Specification and estimation of spatial data models. Int Reg Sci Rev 26(3):224–268Google Scholar
  20. Fang M, Chan CK, Yao X (2009) Managing air quality in a rapidly developing nation: China. Atmos Environ 43:79–86Google Scholar
  21. Fang C, Liu H, Li G, Sun D, Miao Z (2015) Estimating the impact of urbanization on air quality in China using spatial regression models. Sustainability 7:15570–15592Google Scholar
  22. Färe R, Grosskopf S, Lovell CK (1989) Multilateral productivity comparisons when some outputs are undesirable: a nonparametric approach. Rev Econ Stat 71(2):90–98Google Scholar
  23. Farrell MJ (1957) The measurement of productive efficiency. J R Stat Soc Ser A (Gen) 120(3):253–290Google Scholar
  24. Fukuyama H, Weber WL (2009) A directional slacks-based measure of technical inefficiency. Socio-Econ Plan Sci 43(4):274–287Google Scholar
  25. Georgescu M, Păvăloaia VD, Popescul D, Țugui A (2015) The race for making up the list of emergent smart cities. An eastern European country’s approach. Transform Bus Econ 14:529–549Google Scholar
  26. Greaker M (2006) Spillovers in the development of new pollution abatement technology: a new look at the Porter-hypothesis. J Environ Econ Manag 52(1):411–420Google Scholar
  27. Han L, Zhou W, Li W, Li L (2014) Impact of urbanization level on urban air quality: a case of fine particles (PM2.5) in Chinese cities. Environ Pollut 194:163–170Google Scholar
  28. He F, Zhang Q, Lei J, Fu W, Xu X (2013) Energy efficiency and productivity change of China’s iron and steel industry: accounting for undesirable outputs. Energy Policy 54:204–213Google Scholar
  29. Jaffe AB, Newell RG, Stavins RN (2002) Technological change and the environment. Environ Resour Econ 22:41–70Google Scholar
  30. Koopmans TC (1951) Activity analysis of production and allocation. Cowles Commission Monograph No. 13, vol 20. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, pp 33–97Google Scholar
  31. Kryk B, Skubiak B (2015) The necessity of formulating sustainable regional policy in problem areas on the example of west Pomeranian province in Poland. Transform Bus Econ 14:433–447Google Scholar
  32. Kumar S (2006) Environmentally sensitive productivity growth: a global analysis using Malmquist–Luenberger index. Ecol Econ 56(2):280–293Google Scholar
  33. Lan J, Kakinaka M, Huang X (2012) Foreign direct investment, human capital and environmental pollution in China. Environ Resour Econ 51(2):255–275Google Scholar
  34. Li L, Li H, Zhang X, Wang L, Xu L, Wang X, Yu Y, Zhang Y, Cao G (2014) Pollution characteristics and health risk assessment of benzene homologues in ambient air in the northeastern urban area of Beijing. China J Environ Sci 26:214–223Google Scholar
  35. Li X, Yang Y, Xu X, Xu C, Hong J (2016) Air pollution from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons generated by human activities and their health effects in China. J Clean Prod 112:1360–1367Google Scholar
  36. List JA, McHone WW, Millimet DL (2003) Effects of air quality regulation on the destination choice of relocating plants. Oxf Econ Pap 55(4):657–678Google Scholar
  37. Liu Z (2008) Foreign direct investment and technology spillovers: theory and evidence. J Dev Econ 85:176–193Google Scholar
  38. Liu R, An T (2012) Trend and factor analysis of Chinese economic growth performance under restrictions of resource and environment. Econ Res J 11:34–47Google Scholar
  39. Matus K, Nam KM, Selin NE, Lamsal LN, Reilly JM, Paltsev S (2012) Health damages from air pollution in China. Glob Environ Chang 22:55–66Google Scholar
  40. Miao Z, Geng Y, Sheng J (2016) Efficient allocation of CO2 emissions in China: a zero sum gains data envelopment model. J Clean Prod 112:4144–4150Google Scholar
  41. Molinos M, Maziotis A, Sala-Garrido R (2014) The Luenberger productivity indicator in the water industry: an empirical analysis for England and Wales. Util Policy 30:18–28Google Scholar
  42. Murty S, Russell R, Levkoff SB (2012) On modeling pollution-generating technologies. J Environ Econ Manag 64:117–135Google Scholar
  43. Oh D, Heshmati A (2010) A sequential Malmquist–Luenberger productivity index: environmentally sensitive productivity growth considering the progressive nature of technology. Energy Econ 32(6):1345–1355Google Scholar
  44. Parent O, LeSage JP (2008) Using the variance structure of the conditional autoregressive spatial specification to model knowledge spillovers. J Appl Econom 23(2):235–256Google Scholar
  45. Pittman RW (1981) Issue in pollution control: interplant cost differences and economies of scale. Land Econ 57:1–17Google Scholar
  46. Porter ME, van der Linde C (1995) Toward a new conception of the environment-competitiveness relationship. J Econ Perspect 9(4):97–118Google Scholar
  47. Potterie BP, Lichtenberg F (2001) Does foreign direct investment transfer technology across borders? Rev Econ Stat 83(3):490–497Google Scholar
  48. Qi SZ, Li Y (2017) Threshold effects of renewable energy consumption on economic growth under energy transformation. Chin J Popul Resour Environ 15(4):312–321Google Scholar
  49. Ray SC, Mukherjee K, Venkatesh A (2018) Nonparametric measures of efficiency in the presence of undesirable outputs: a by-production approach. Empir Econ 54:31–65Google Scholar
  50. Rexhäuser S, Rammer C (2014) Environmental innovations and firm profitability: unmasking the Porter hypothesis. Environ Resour Econ 57(1):145–167Google Scholar
  51. Shan HJ (2008) Re-estimating the Capital Stock of China: 1952–2006. J Quant Tech Econ 10:17–32Google Scholar
  52. Tone K (2001) A slacks-based measure of efficiency in data envelopment analysis. Eur J Oper Res 130:498–509Google Scholar
  53. Wang Z, Feng C (2015) Sources of production inefficiency and productivity growth in China: a global data envelopment analysis. Energy Econ 49:380–389Google Scholar
  54. Wang H, Jin Y (2007) Industrial ownership and environmental performance: evidence from China. Environ Resour Econ 36(3):255–273Google Scholar
  55. Wang Y, Shen N (2016) Environmental regulation and environmental productivity: the case of China. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 62:758–766Google Scholar
  56. Wang WG, Zheng GG (2013) Green book of climate: change annual report on climate change actions. Social Science Academic Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  57. Wang H, Mamingi N, Laplante B, Dasgupta S (2003) Incomplete enforcement of pollution regulation: bargaining power of Chinese factories. Environ Resour Econ 24(3):245–262Google Scholar
  58. Wang B, Wu Y, Yan P (2010) Environmental efficiency and environmental total factor productivity growth in China’s regional economies. Econ Res J 5:95–109Google Scholar
  59. Wu H, Guo H, Zhang B, Bu M (2017) Westward movement of new polluting firms in China: pollution reduction mandates and location choice. J Comp Econ 45(1):119–138Google Scholar
  60. Xie R, Yuan Y, Huang J (2017) Different types of environmental regulations and heterogeneous influence on “green” productivity: evidence from china. Ecol Econ 132:104–112Google Scholar
  61. Yang S, He L (2016) Fuel demand, road transport pollution emissions and residents’ health losses in the transitional China. Transp Res Part D Transp Environ 42:45–59Google Scholar
  62. Yuan Y, Liu S, Castro R, Pan X (2012) PM2.5 monitoring and mitigation in the cities of China. Environ Sci Technol 46:3627–3628Google Scholar
  63. Zhang N, Choi Y (2013) Total-factor carbon emission performance of fossil fuel power plants in China: a metafrontier non-radial Malmquist index analysis. Energy Econ 40:549–559Google Scholar
  64. Zhang RL, Shi GQ (2016) Analysis of the relationship between environmental policies and air quality during major social events. Chin J Popul Resour Environ 14(3):167–173Google Scholar
  65. Zhang N, Wei X (2015) Dynamic total factor carbon emissions performance changes in the Chinese transportation industry. Appl Energy 146:409–420Google Scholar
  66. Zhang C, Liu H, Bressers HTA, Buchanan KS (2011) Productivity growth and environmental regulations-accounting for undesirable outputs: analysis of China’s thirty provincial regions using the Malmquist–Luenberger index. Ecol Econ 70(12):2369–2379Google Scholar
  67. Zhang D, Liu J, Li B (2014) Tackling air pollution in China-What do we learn from the great smog of 1950s in London. Sustainability 6:5322–5338Google Scholar
  68. Zhang N, Zhou P, Kung C (2015a) Total-factor carbon emission performance of the Chinese transportation industry: a bootstrapped non-radial Malmquist index analysis. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 41:584–593Google Scholar
  69. Zhang Y, Jin P, Feng D (2015b) Does civil environmental protection force the growth of China’s industrial green productivity? Evidence from the perspective of rent-seeking. Ecol Ind 51:215–227Google Scholar
  70. Zhang Z, Zhang X, Gong D, Quan W, Zhao X, Ma Z, Kim SJ (2015c) Evolution of surface O3 and PM2.5 concentrations and their relationships with meteorological conditions over the last decade in Beijing. Atmos Environ 108:67–75Google Scholar
  71. Zhao J, Chen S, Wang H, Ren Y, Du K, Xu W, Zheng H, Jiang B (2012) Quantifying the impacts of socio-economic factors on air quality in Chinese cities from 2000 to 2009. Environ Pollut 167:148–154Google Scholar
  72. Zheng J, Bigsten A, Hu A (2009) Can China’s growth be sustained? A productivity perspective. World Dev 37(4):874–888Google Scholar
  73. Zhou P, Ang BW, Poh KL (2008) Measuring environmental performance under different environmental DEA technologies. Energy Econ 30:1–14Google Scholar
  74. Zhou P, Ang BW, Wang H (2012) Energy and CO2 emission performance in electricity generation: a non-radial directional distance function approach. Eur J Oper Res 221:625–635Google Scholar
  75. Zhou Y, Zhu S, He C (2017) How do environmental regulations affect industrial dynamics? Evidence from China’s pollution-intensive industries. Habitat Int 60:10–18Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Western China Economic Research CenterSouthwestern University of Finance and EconomicsChengduChina
  2. 2.Institute for Urban and Environmental StudiesChinese Academy of Social ScienceBeijingChina
  3. 3.Faculty of Economics and Business AdministrationVilnius UniversityVilniusLithuania
  4. 4.School of Urban and Regional ScienceShanghai University of Finance and EconomicsShanghaiChina
  5. 5.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringShanghai Jiaotong UniversityShanghaiChina
  6. 6.School of BusinessNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina

Personalised recommendations