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The Impact of Haze Pollution on Firm-Level TFP in China: Test of a Mediation Model of Labor Productivity

Bin Li (), Shuai Shi () and Yating Zeng ()
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Bin Li: School of Economics and Management, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China
Shuai Shi: School of Economics and Management, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China
Yating Zeng: School of Economics and Management, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 20, 1-21

Abstract: The core issue for China’s economy to shift from high-speed growth to high-quality development is to raise total factor productivity (TFP). Based on the data of A-share listed companies from 2013 to 2017 and the air quality monitoring data released by the China National Environmental Monitoring Centre, this paper conducts an empirical test on the relationship between haze pollution, labor productivity, and firm-level TFP by using the mediation effect test model. The results show the following: First, haze pollution will reduce a firm’s TFP. Second, labor productivity plays a partial intermediary role between haze pollution and a firm’s TFP. Haze pollution will not only have a direct negative impact on a firm-level TFP but also reduce a firm-level TFP by reducing labor productivity. Subsequently, the robustness test was carried out by means of a substitution of independent variables and dependent variables, and the results all supported the hypotheses in this paper. In addition, the heterogeneity of the industry and the ownership of listed companies was analyzed, and the two-stage least squares (2SLS) method was used to solve the endogeneity problem. The conclusions of this paper are helpful to clarify the relationship between haze pollution, firm factor productivity, and firm-level TFP. The paper’s findings also provide a practical basis for firms to further improve TFP from the perspective of air pollution problems such as haze.

Keywords: haze pollution; TFP; labor productivity; LP method (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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