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Does China's Status of Sustainable Development Have Been Improved?

Sung Jin Kang (), Shijun Cao () and Seon Ju Lee ()
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Sung Jin Kang: Professor, Department of Economics, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Korea
Shijun Cao: Professor, College of Economics and Management, Yanbian University, Jilin 133002, China,
Seon Ju Lee: Ph.D. Student, Department of Economics, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Korea,

No 2105, Discussion Paper Series from Institute of Economic Research, Korea University

Abstract: By using the time series data from 1990-2019, this study investigates the status of sustainable development (SD) in China. Through factor analysis using principal component analysis (PCA), the sustainable development index (SDI) is derived, and the contribution of each sustainable development goal (SDG) to the SDI is calculated. The main findings are as follows. First, a progressively improving SDI is derived. Even with a notable decrease in 2008 partially due to the 2008 Great Sichuan earthquake, the SDI shows a gradual improvement over the analysis period. Furthermore, it is found that the SDI trend is quite similar to that of per capita GDP, implying that the state of economic development measured by per capita GDP well approximates the degree of sustainable development. Third, most of the goals show a continuous improvement over the period and contribute to the improvement of China’s SDI: Goals 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 12, and 17. In addition, Goals 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 15, and 16 show a steady trend in the early period but then demonstrate a gradual improvement since 2010. On the other hand, Goal 13 shows a steady trend during the sample period with a fluctuation in 2008, while goal 14 steadily deteriorated. Finally, Goal 5 shows a U-shaped trend as the situation improved after 2006.

Keywords: Sustainable Development; Principal Component Analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C43 O10 O53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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