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Dynamics of environmental quality and economic development: the regional experience from Yangtze River Delta of China

Jingjing Zhang and Partha Gangopadhyay ()

Applied Economics, 2015, vol. 47, issue 29, 3113-3123

Abstract: This article investigates the dynamic relationship between economic progress and environmental quality at a regional level. An important economic intuition in this context is that environmental degradation will be limited by human behaviour if costs and benefits of such degradation are local since economic agents will then be incentivized to choose appropriate corrective action. Therefore, we note the likelihood that regional economic development can help regions 'grow out of' environmental problems. Using a new data set from Yangtze River Delta of China, we find a strong confirmation of the intuition that human can and will resolve the environmental problem by altering the damaging behaviour of economic agents. A very interesting finding of this study is that the relationship between environmental quality and economic progress measured by per capita income can display a wave-like function in the case of water pollution, as opposed to the much dramatized environmental Kuznets curve, with significant policy implications.

Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2015.1011324

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