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Effects of air pollution on regional innovation and the mediator role of health: Evidence from China

Fubiao Zhu, Delin Zhuang, Shengwu Jin, Lingling Gao and Rui Chen

Growth and Change, 2022, vol. 53, issue 2, 628-650

Abstract: Environmental regulation has attracted a great deal of attention between air pollution and innovation, but rarely individual perspective. This study attempts to reveal the impact of air pollution on regional innovation through individual health. The methodology applies dynamic panel model and system GMM estimation dealing with endogeneity issue and using China’s provincial panel data from 1998 to 2018. Empirical analysis shows that air pollution has significant negative effects on regional innovation. With every 1% increase in PM2.5 concentration, patent applications decrease by 0.186%. Correction and replacement of the dependent variable, classifying samples, and using subsamples all show that the results are robust. Parallel multiple mediator model is adopted to analyze the influence mechanism. It can be found that the physical and mental health of R&D personnel plays a significant mediator role. It can be constructive to regional innovation to reduce air pollution while maintaining innovation capital investment; and improve R&D personnel health while reducing their work pressure.

Date: 2022
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