Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 70, Issue 1, pp 107–130 | Cite as

Energy Efficiency Convergence in China: Catch-Up, Lock-In and Regulatory Uniformity

  • Jianhuan Huang
  • Yantuan Yu
  • Chunbo MaEmail author


This paper examines alternative hypotheses of beta convergence for different measures of energy efficiency. We collect a novel set of prefecture-level data that substantially extend the breadth of the datasets ever used in this literature. GMM estimators are then used to empirically test the national and club convergence of energy efficiency among these prefectures. We find strong evidence for prefecture-level national and club convergence in energy efficiency. In particular, the listed key environmental protection (KEP) prefectures, prefectures in central and western regions and prefectures not listed as resource-based (RB) converge faster than the non-KEP prefectures, prefectures in eastern region and RB prefectures. Sensitivity analyses suggest that these results are robust to alternative measures of energy efficiency and GMM specifications.


Energy efficiency Club convergence SBM EBM China 

JEL Classification

C61 Q32 Q43 Q56 Q58 



We gratefully acknowledge financial assistance from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41571524), the National Social Science Foundation of China (14ZDB144), the Collaborative Innovation Center for the Development of Modern Services and New Urbanization in Hunan Province and Vice-Chancellor’s Research Awards for Early Career Investigators at the University of Western Australia.

Supplementary material

10640_2017_112_MOESM1_ESM.docx (22 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (docx 22 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economy and Trade, Economic Data Research CenterHunan UniversityChangshaChina
  2. 2.School of Agricultural and Resource Economics (M089)University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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