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Characterizing the Influences of Economic Development, Energy Consumption, Urbanization, Industrialization, and Vehicles Amount on PM 2.5 Concentrations of China

Haoran Zhao (), Sen Guo () and Huiru Zhao ()
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Haoran Zhao: School of Economics and Management, North China Electric Power University, Beijing 102206, China
Sen Guo: School of Economics and Management, North China Electric Power University, Beijing 102206, China
Huiru Zhao: School of Economics and Management, North China Electric Power University, Beijing 102206, China

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 7, 1-19

Abstract: The speeding-up of economic development and industrialization processes in China have brought about serious atmospheric pollution issues, especially in terms of particulate matter harmful to health. However, impact mechanisms of socio-economic forces on PM 2.5 (the particle matter with diameter less than 2.5 μm) have rarely been further investigated. This paper selected GDP (gross domestic product) per capita, energy consumption, urbanization process, industrialization structure, and the amount of possession of civil vehicles as the significant factors, and researched the relationship between these factors and PM 2.5 concentrations from 1998 to 2016, employing auto-regressive distributed lag (ARDL) methodology and environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) theory. Empirical results illustrated that a long-term equilibrium nexus exists among these variables. Granger causality results indicate that bi-directional causality exist between PM 2.5 concentrations and GDP per capita, the squared component of GDP per capita, energy consumption and urbanization process. An inverse U-shape nexus exists between PM 2.5 concentrations and GDP per capita. When the real GDP per capita reaches 5942.44 dollars, PM 2.5 concentrations achieve the peak. Results indicate that Chinese governments should explore a novel pathway to resolve the close relationship between socio-economic factors and PM 2.5 , such as accelerating the adjustment of economic development mode, converting the critical industrial development driving forces, and adjusting the economic structure.

Keywords: PM 2.5 concentrations; GDP per capita; Energy consumption; Urbanization process; Environmental Kuznets curve; Auto-regressive distributed lag methodology; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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