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The environmental consequences of domestic and foreign investment: Evidence from China

Yiming Liu, Yu Hao and Yixuan Gao

Energy Policy, 2017, vol. 108, issue C, 271-280

Abstract: Fixed asset investment (FAI) and foreign indirect investment (FDI) have important influences on economic development and environmental quality. Because environmental performance is related with economic development, FAI and FDI may affect environment indirectly through their impacts on economic growth. In this study, the direct and indirect effects of both FAI and FDI on China's environmental quality are distinguished and separately estimated for the first time with a carefully designed framework of a two-equation model. Because most economic activities and environmental pollutions occur in the urban areas, a panel data of 112 Chinese cities for the period 2002–2015 is utilized. Several spatial factors are also introduced to control for the potential spatial correlations in economic development and pollutant emissions. The estimation results indicate that there exist apparent differences in the environmental effects of FAI and FDI. The direct effects of FAI on SO2 emissions are significant positive and dominate the negative indirect effects. By contrast, the direct, indirect and total effects of FDI on pollutant emissions are all negative. Therefore, overall speaking, well designed and targeted policies should be formulated to reduce the negative environmental impacts of FAI and to increase the positive influences of FDI on environment.

Keywords: Fixed asset investment (FAI); Foreign direct investment (FDI); Environmental quality; City-level panel data; Spatial correlation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:108:y:2017:i:c:p:271-280