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The effect of technological factors and structural change on China's energy intensity: Evidence from dynamic panel models

Junbing Huang, Yali Lai and Hanlei Hu

China Economic Review, 2020, vol. 64, issue C

Abstract: To accurately understand the characteristic of energy intensity evolution by building a united framework, this paper evaluates the linear effects of the main technological factors and structural change on energy intensity from an overall perspective and a regional comparison perspective. The empirical analysis is based on a panel dataset including China's 30 provincial regions. The results suggest that domestic research and development (R&D) plays a more important role in energy intensity reduction than other technological factors. The technology spillover through foreign direct investment helps reduce the energy intensity, whereas export's technology spillover actually exhibits as a stain for China to reduce the energy intensity. Regarding the structural change, the transition from high energy-consumption industrial sectors to low energy-consumption industrial sectors plays a more important role in influencing energy intensity than simple industrialisation. The regional comparison perspective indicates that there are significant regional differences between China's Eastern, Central, and Western regions. Further estimates using the dynamic panel threshold model suggest that the local technological absorptive capacity, such as domestic R&D, is crucially responsible for these different technical effects.

Keywords: Energy intensity; Technological factors; Structural change; Dynamic panel model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2020.101518

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China Economic Review is currently edited by B.M. Fleisher, K. X. D. Huang, M.E. Lovely, Y. Wen, X. Zhang and X. Zhu

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