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Does carbon intensity constraint policy improve industrial green production performance in China? A quasi-DID analysis

Zhenbing Yang, Meiting Fan, Shuai Shao () and Lili Yang

Energy Economics, 2017, vol. 68, issue C, 271-282

Abstract: Whether or not carbon regulation policies can achieve the “double dividend” of carbon reduction and economic growth is vital for realizing the sustainable development of a certain country. This paper investigates the effects of a carbon intensity constraint policy (CICP) that the Chinese government put forward in 2009 on the green production performance (GPP, i.e., the environmentally sensitive productivity growth considering carbon emissions to be an undesirable output) of industrial sector (the largest carbon emitter in China) for the first time. Based on a non-radial and non-oriented DEA (data envelopment analysis) measure method, we first adopt the Luenberger indicator to estimate the GPP of China's 36 industrial sub-sectors over 2001–2013. Furthermore, regarding the CICP proposed in 2009 as a natural experiment, we assess the effects of such a policy on China's industrial GPP by using the quasi-difference-in-differences (quasi-DID) method. The results show that China's industrial GPP presents a circuitous downward trend after experiencing a transient rise. The heterogeneity of the GPP among industrial sub-sectors exists, and the increase in industrial output is the crucial driver of improving the GPP. China's industrial GPP has deteriorated after implementing the CICP, and the negative effect of such a policy is larger and larger over time. Such empirical results indicate that although the carbon regulation policy in China has achieved a surface success, the policy causes a factor substitution effect to hinder the improvement of the GPP. Therefore, China's current CICP is not effective in realizing the “double dividend” of carbon reduction and industrial growth.

Keywords: Carbon intensity constraint policy; Green production performance; Luenberger indicator; Quasi-DID; Industrial sector; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C61 O13 O53 Q54 Q56 Q58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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