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The Impact of Digital Economy Agglomeration on Regional Green Total Factor Productivity Disparity: Evidence from 285 Cities in China

Kai Chen, Feng Guo () and Shuang Xu
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Kai Chen: School of Business Administration, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110169, China
Feng Guo: School of Business Administration, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110169, China
Shuang Xu: School of Business Administration, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110169, China

Sustainability, 2022, vol. 14, issue 22, 1-16

Abstract: Purpose—The unbalanced layout of digital economy agglomeration has a significant impact on regional high-quality development. This study aims to explore the impact of digital economy agglomeration on regional green total factor productivity (GTFP) disparity from two aspects, including theoretical mechanism and empirical effect. Design/methodology/approach—Based on the empirical data of 285 cities above the prefecture level in China from 2003 to 2018, super-efficiency undesired SBM model, spatial Dubin model, and intermediary effect model are utilized to analyze how digital economy agglomeration affects regional GTFP disparity. Findings—The results show that the GTFP of China is on the rise as a whole, but the gap among cities is gradually expanding. Digital economy agglomeration has significant positive direct effects and positive spillover effects on GTFP, but digital economy agglomeration also aggravates the regional GTFP disparity due to disequilibrium industrial upgrading mechanism. Originality/value—The paper confirms the relationship between digital economy agglomeration and regional GTFP disparity for the first time. Different from previous studies, the industrial upgrading mechanism in this paper includes industrial structure upgrading and industrial spatial evolution. The study calls for the industrial bottleneck of “low-end locking” in underdeveloped cities to be noticed.

Keywords: digital economy agglomeration; green total factor productivity; regional disparity; industrial upgrading (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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