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Does better access to credit help reduce energy intensity in China? Evidence from manufacturing firms

Dayong Zhang (), Jun Li and Qiang Ji ()

Energy Policy, 2020, vol. 145, issue C

Abstract: Using firm-level data from the World Bank Enterprise Survey, this study investigates whether access to credit of a sample of Chinese manufacturing firms can affect the intensity of their energy use. Our empirical results show that firms with access to credit are associated with lower energy efficiency. In other words, firms with credit access tend to have significantly higher energy use per unit of output. This finding is robust to different measures of energy intensity and to varying specification of models. However, we find that local government environmental regulations can mitigate the financing-energy relationship: cities with stronger environmental regulations are able to reverse the relationship, in other words, firms’ access to financing is significantly associated with a reduction in their energy intensity. Our findings have important policy implications for Chinese authorities seeking more environmentally friendly development, and our conclusions suggest that energy efficiency should be considered as an additional condition for credit allocation to firms.

Keywords: Access to credit; Energy intensity; Environmental regulations; Manufacturing firms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2020.111710

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