JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2018, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (4): 576-587.doi: 10.11849/zrzyxb.20170381

• Resource Economics • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Heterogeneous Impacts of Investments in Environmental Governance on Economic Growth: A Perspective from Urbanization

XING You-wei1, JIANG Xu-zhao1, LI Xiao-feng2   

  1. 1.School of Economics, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China;
    2.School of Public Administration, Dongbei University of Finance & Economics, Dalian 116025, China;
  • Received:2017-04-25 Revised:2017-08-17 Online:2018-04-10 Published:2018-04-10
  • Supported by:
    Key Project of National Social Science Foundation of China, No. 13AJL002.

Abstract: In recent years, environmental problems have attracted more and more attention in China, and there are more and more people calling for increasing investments in environmental governance with the deterioration of the environment. But whether or not the increasing environmental governance investments to control environmental pollution will be a burden to economic growth in China is one of the concerned issues for economists. Meanwhile, the environmental problems are accompanied by constantly increasing the level of urbanization. So, it’s of great practical significance to explore whether investments in environmental governance promote or hinder economic growth and what is the role that urbanization plays in this process. Based on data of 31 provinces in the mainland of China from 2003 to 2015, this paper uses panel threshold model to study the relationship between investments in environmental governance and economic growth and then uses methods of data envelopment analysis and system-generalized method of moments to explore the mechanism of this relationship. The results show that: 1) There are parameter heterogeneity and significant threshold effect between investments in environmental governance and economic growth, which indicates that the relationship between them is non-linear. 2) Due to the difference of the stock of investments in environmental governance in each province, the impact of investments in environmental governance on economics growth among the provinces in the mainland of China is divided into two stages: in the first stage the impact was not significant, but in the second stage investments in environmental governance promoted the economics growth, and elasticity coefficients in the two stages were -0.014 and 0.046, respectively. 3) Moderate urbanization can economically improve the efficiencies of investments in environmental governance and thus promote economic growth, which eliminates the concerns that an increase of investments in environmental governance on environmental pollution control will be a burden to economic growth in China. Based on these results, this paper suggests that we should continue to increase the investments in environmental governance and improve the level of urbanization at the same time. Achieving environmental and economic benefits with urbanization is a win-win situation.

Key words: economic growth, environmental governance, panel threshold model, urbanization

CLC Number: 

  • X32