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Will green technological progress help industrial collaborative agglomeration increase regional carbon productivity: evidence from Yangtze River Delta urban agglomerations

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Abstract

Carbon emission goals need China to upgrade its industrial structure to formulate a low-carbon economy. As a new form of industrial structure change, manufacturing and production service industries influence each other and become a collaborative agglomeration. This trend may have some impacts on carbon productivity. However, little research has been conducted whether and how the industrial collaborative agglomeration affects carbon productivity. To fill this research gap, this study employed panel data of 27 cities in the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomerations region from 2006 to 2020. First, by using the location entropy index, this study assessed the degree with regard to the collaborative agglomeration index of manufacturing and production services in the cities of the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomerations. Second, the study used a non-radial non-angular SBM model with the global Malmquist-Luenberger index to decompose the green technological progress index from each city’s green total factor productivity. Third, this paper also used a mediating effect model to determine whether green technological progress played a mediating role with regard to the effect among industrial collaboration agglomeration and carbon productivity. The results indicate that (1) Industrial collaborative agglomeration significantly increased carbon productivity and green technological progress, with the industrial collaboration agglomeration index increasing by 1%, carbon productivity increasing by 28.8%, and green technological progress index increasing by 5.3%. (2) Green technological progress shows a significant partial mediating effect in carbon productivity effects of industrial collaborative agglomeration, with the mediating effect accounting for 19.82% of the overall effect. (3) There was a heterogeneity effect between high-end productive service and manufacturing industries collaborative agglomeration along with traditional productive service and manufacturing industries collaborative agglomeration. Former collaborative agglomeration increased 1%, carbon productivity increased by 37.9% and the mediating effect of collaborative agglomeration on carbon productivity through green technological progress accounted for 23.18% of the total effect. This mediating effect was not significant for traditional productive service and manufacturing industries collaborative agglomeration. This paper can provide some suggestions for construction of a low-carbon economy in Yangtze River Delta urban agglomerations to improve the cities’ carbon productivity.

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Data availability

Data associated with the present study can be accessed on request to the author (anmin@ctgu.edu.cn).

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Funding

This research was funded by the National Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 72004116, 71874101, and 72104127), the National Social Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 19ZDA089), The fund of Engineering Research Center of Eco-environment in Three Gorges Reservoir Region, Ministry of Education, China Three Gorges University (Grant No. KF2022-07).

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WH contributed to conceptualization, methodology, writing—original draft, writing—review and editing. MA contributed to conceptualization, data Curation, methodology, writing—original draft, writing—review and editing. YL contributed to methodology, software, data curation, writing—original draft, writing—review and editing. XM and MS contributed to methodology, investigation, visualization. TSR contributed to data curation, formal analysis.

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Correspondence to Min An.

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He, W., Li, Y., Meng, X. et al. Will green technological progress help industrial collaborative agglomeration increase regional carbon productivity: evidence from Yangtze River Delta urban agglomerations. Environ Dev Sustain (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-023-03716-w

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