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Special Issue "Sustainable Development of Chinese Economy—In Search of New Sources of Growth: A Sustainable Approach"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 December 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Hongbo Liu

College of Business, Law & Governance, Division of Tropical Environments and Societies, James Cook University, Townsville City QLD 4814, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +61-7-478-14299
Interests: food; resource and environmental economics; energy transition and de-carbon economy
Guest Editor
Dr. Sizhong Sun

College of Business, Law & Governance, Division of Tropical Environments and Societies, James Cook University, Townsville City QLD 4814, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +61-7-478-14710
Interests: international economics; economic development; empirical industrial organization; applied econometrics; energy economics; corporate finance; foreign direct investment; Chinese economy
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Iain Gordon

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Tropical Environments & Societies, James Cook University, Townsville Qld 4811, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +61-7-478-16514
Interests: agricultural sustainability; community based conservation; restoration ecology; wildlife/livestock interactions; sustainable development; science/policy interface

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In conjunction with the 28th Annual Conference of Chinese Economics Society Australia (CESA) that will be held at James Cook University, Cairns Campus, Australia, on 17–19 July, 2016, Sustainability will publish a Special Issue on the sustainable development of the Chinese economy, with the theme being “In Search of New Sources of Growth: A Sustainable Approach”.

The past three decades have seen rapid economic growth in China, which, on the one hand, increases the welfare of ordinary Chinese citizens by increasing their real income, and, on the other hand, creates a number of challenges that increasingly constrain China’s sustainable progress in the future, such as environmental pollution, regional disparities, and income inequality. For instance, the severe smog in China’s major cities is likely to cause health problems. Currently, it appears that Chinese economy is transiting to a lower growth trajectory, namely a so-called “new normal” (新常态), and meanwhile policymakers are in search of new sources of growth, both internally and externally. It is thus opportune to review and evaluate China’s economy from a sustainable perspective, which is the main focus of this Special Issue.

This Special Issue will open to researchers, both from the conference and the wider academic community. Major topics include any issues related to the sustainable development of Chinese economy, such as economic growth and sustainability, structural reform in China, and China’s economic relationship with the world. More details can be found at http://www.ces-aus.org/.

Dr. Hongbo Liu
Dr. Sizhong Sun
Prof. Dr. Iain Gordon
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainable development
  • economic reform
  • agricultural sustainability
  • environmental pollutions
  • resource demand and supply
  • poverty and inequality
  • innovation
  • demography, ageing, and health issues
  • China

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Are They Neck and Neck in the Affordable Housing Policies? A Cross Case Comparison of Three Metropolitan Cities in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 542; doi:10.3390/su9040542
Received: 24 November 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 20 March 2017 / Published: 1 April 2017
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Abstract
Many municipal governments have adopted affordable housing policies to benefit people whose socio-economic status is not commensurate with the price of housing. However, the effects and the functions of these policies in the city on sustainable development and living remains limited. Using a
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Many municipal governments have adopted affordable housing policies to benefit people whose socio-economic status is not commensurate with the price of housing. However, the effects and the functions of these policies in the city on sustainable development and living remains limited. Using a comparative case study, this study explores the characteristics and effects of affordable housing policies in three metropolitan cities in China: Beijing, Tianjin, and Guangshou. This study finds that these cities have their unique affordable housing policies and have experienced various challenges in implementing those policies. Conclusions and implications for other cities in China are addressed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle What Motivates Farmers’ Adaptation to Climate Change? The Case of Apple Farmers of Shaanxi in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 519; doi:10.3390/su9040519
Received: 21 November 2016 / Revised: 8 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (777 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Past studies showing that barriers to farmers’ adaptation behaviors are focused on their socio-economic factors and resource availability. Meanwhile, psychological and social considerations are sparingly mentioned, especially for the related studies in developing countries. This study investigates the impact of psychological factors and
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Past studies showing that barriers to farmers’ adaptation behaviors are focused on their socio-economic factors and resource availability. Meanwhile, psychological and social considerations are sparingly mentioned, especially for the related studies in developing countries. This study investigates the impact of psychological factors and social appraisal on farmers’ behavioral intention to adopt adaptation measures for the aforementioned reason, due to climate change and not to anthropogenic climate change. Drawing on the protection motivation theory, a threat, coping, social appraisal, maladaptation and behavioral intention to adopt adaptation measures (TCSMBI) model was proposed to predict farmers’ adaptation. A structural equation model was then employed to analyze the relationships between variables in the TCSMBI model with 658 apple farmers in Shaanxi province, China. The empirical results showed that threat appraisal and coping appraisal have positive and significant impacts on behavioral intention to climate change. Moreover, threat appraisal reduces the occurrence of maladaptation, and social appraisal tends to have significantly positive impacts on threat appraisal and coping appraisal. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effects of Weather on Oilseed Rape (OSR) Yield in China: Future Implications of Climate Change
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 418; doi:10.3390/su9030418
Received: 29 December 2016 / Revised: 24 February 2017 / Accepted: 6 March 2017 / Published: 15 March 2017
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Abstract
Understanding the role of climatic factors on crop yields is essential in predicting the future impact of climate change. In order to understand the influence of climatic factors on OSR, detailed farm-level panel data from 2566 farms across 67 counties of the 6
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Understanding the role of climatic factors on crop yields is essential in predicting the future impact of climate change. In order to understand the influence of climatic factors on OSR, detailed farm-level panel data from 2566 farms across 67 counties of the 6 major OSR production regions in China, from the surveys conducted by the national OSR industry project between 2008 and 2013, were used to examine the contribution of changes in selected climatic variables between 2008 and 2013 to yield variation. Spatial and temporal patterns of the relationships between OSR yield, climatic factors were estimated together with the effects of farmer adaptation and management practices on yield variability. The analysis revealed that yields in the low-latitude production regions were more sensitive to temperature increases and likely to decline. Precipitation iwas the most influential factor on yield at the first two growth stages; temperature and sunshine hours were most important at the third and fourth growth stages, respectively. Labour input was the most influential management factor affecting yields compared with fertilizer and other inputs. The study concludes that projection of future climate change impacts will need inter alia to incorporate more sophisticated and detailed measures of climatic variables than simple means of temperature and precipitation, incorporating timing in relation to plant growth and yield. Full article
Open AccessArticle The New Cooperative Medical Scheme and Self-Employment in Rural China
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 304; doi:10.3390/su9020304
Received: 29 October 2016 / Revised: 5 January 2017 / Accepted: 14 February 2017 / Published: 22 February 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (200 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using panel data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey, this study estimates the effect of the New Cooperative Medical Scheme (NCMS) on self-employment in rural China, based on a difference-in-differences method (combined with propensity score matching). Specifically, we compare employment status of
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Using panel data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey, this study estimates the effect of the New Cooperative Medical Scheme (NCMS) on self-employment in rural China, based on a difference-in-differences method (combined with propensity score matching). Specifically, we compare employment status of the participants and non-participants groups before and after the NCMS was implemented (within the common-support region). We found that the NCMS increased a rural resident’s likelihood of shifting from working for others to self-employed by 38 percentage points and that of shifting from temporarily employed to self-employed by 23 percentage points. These results suggest that apart from reducing uncertainty in future spending for the insured due to catastrophic illness, universal health insurance could also have a positive effect on the labor market, namely, that of increasing rates of self-employment. Full article
Open AccessArticle Financial Inclusion, Entry Barriers, and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from China
Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 203; doi:10.3390/su9020203
Received: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 25 January 2017 / Published: 1 February 2017
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Abstract
This paper aims at investigating the relationship between financial inclusion and the formation of entrepreneurs, both theoretically and empirically. We first construct a theoretical model to examine how the development of financial inclusion affects the formation of entrepreneurs. The model suggests that the
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This paper aims at investigating the relationship between financial inclusion and the formation of entrepreneurs, both theoretically and empirically. We first construct a theoretical model to examine how the development of financial inclusion affects the formation of entrepreneurs. The model suggests that the development of financial inclusion can mitigate credit constraints on entrepreneurial activities by reducing information asymmetry in financial transactions, and in addition this effect is greater in industries with lower barriers to entry. Then, using data from 31 provinces and 19 industries in China during the period 2005–2014, we test the impact of financial inclusion on the formation of entrepreneurs. The estimation results confirm the positive effect of financial inclusion development on the formation of entrepreneurs, and indicate that this effect is heterogeneous across industries. Moreover, the development of financial inclusion is often beneficial to the formations of entrepreneurs in sectors with lower entry barriers. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sustaining Regional Advantages in Manufacturing: Skill Accumulation of Rural–Urban Migrant Workers in the Coastal Area of China
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 72; doi:10.3390/su9010072
Received: 12 September 2016 / Revised: 13 December 2016 / Accepted: 3 January 2017 / Published: 7 January 2017
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Abstract
Extant research pays little attention to unorganized migrant workers’ skill accumulation/upgrading from the perspective of the labor supply. This paper takes China as an example to explore the factors influencing the skill accumulation of rural–urban migrant workers (RUMWs), with the purpose of discovering
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Extant research pays little attention to unorganized migrant workers’ skill accumulation/upgrading from the perspective of the labor supply. This paper takes China as an example to explore the factors influencing the skill accumulation of rural–urban migrant workers (RUMWs), with the purpose of discovering how to sustain or reshape regional competitive advantages by improving RUMWs’ skill accumulation. Structured questionnaire surveys were adopted for data collection in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province and Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province located in the Yangtze River Delta in eastern China. In total, 700 questionnaires were issued and 491 effective questionnaires were recovered. It takes the perspective of individual laborers, with special regard to the effects of localization on the laborers’ skill accumulation within the context of globalization. It adopts a broad viewpoint including intra-firm skill-biased strategy (as a response to intense competition), inter-firm relationships, and the accessibility of local non-firm organizations. The findings indicate that firms’ skill preference, which impacts employees’ skills and innovation ability and stimulates them to learn with initiative, have a significant influence on RUMWs’ skill accumulation. In terms of collective efficiency based on the co-competitive relationship between local firms, the more intensive interactions are, the more opportunities RUMWs are afforded for skill accumulation. The accessibility of local institutions and favorable policies also benefit RUMWs’ skill accumulation. In addition, the place itself, as a synthesized space of a firm’s internal labor-management relations and inter-organizational relations, also exerts an influence on and causes regional differences in RUMWs’ skill accumulation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Beyond Apprenticeship: Knowledge Brokers and Sustainability of Apprentice-Based Clusters
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1279; doi:10.3390/su8121279
Received: 17 September 2016 / Revised: 29 November 2016 / Accepted: 3 December 2016 / Published: 7 December 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (997 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Knowledge learning and diffusion have long been discussed in the literature on the dynamics of industrial clusters, but recent literature provides little evidence for how different actors serve as knowledge brokers in the upgrading process of apprentice-based clusters, and does not dynamically consider
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Knowledge learning and diffusion have long been discussed in the literature on the dynamics of industrial clusters, but recent literature provides little evidence for how different actors serve as knowledge brokers in the upgrading process of apprentice-based clusters, and does not dynamically consider how to preserve the sustainability of these clusters. This paper uses empirical evidence from an antique furniture manufacturing cluster in Xianyou, Fujian Province, in southeastern China, to examine the growth trajectory of the knowledge learning system of an antique furniture manufacturing cluster. It appears that the apprentice-based learning system is crucial during early stages of the cluster evolution, but later becomes complemented and relatively substituted by the role of both local governments and focal outsiders. This finding addresses the context of economic transformation and provides empirical insights into knowledge acquisition in apprentice-based clusters to question the rationality based on European and North American cases, and to provide a broader perspective for policy makers to trigger and sustain the development of apprentice-based clusters. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Does Firms’ Innovation Promote Export Growth Sustainably?—Evidence from Chinese Manufacturing Firms
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1173; doi:10.3390/su8111173
Received: 22 September 2016 / Revised: 1 November 2016 / Accepted: 9 November 2016 / Published: 15 November 2016
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Abstract
Recent theoretical analysis and empirical studies have emphasized that firms’ innovation could significantly improve export growth. However, the positive effect of innovation on exports is likely to change due to unstable domestic offsetting for innovation and increasing worldwide competition for trade. This study
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Recent theoretical analysis and empirical studies have emphasized that firms’ innovation could significantly improve export growth. However, the positive effect of innovation on exports is likely to change due to unstable domestic offsetting for innovation and increasing worldwide competition for trade. This study aims to explore the dynamic link between them. We first develop a theoretical model between innovation and export growth based on the theory of heterogeneity. Export growth is measured through the dimensions of extensive margin and intensive margin so as to better investigate the effect of innovation on export performance. The propositions of mechanism analysis reveal that the effect of innovation on exports is non-linear rather than sustainable. An empirical study is followed to test the propositions by using data from a representative panel of Chinese manufacturing firms. Consistent with the theoretical predictions, the results show an inverted U-shaped relationship between innovation and extensive margin and a U-shaped relationship between innovation and intensive margin. The non-linear relations are verified by a threshold effect test. Further study shows less innovation and more firms on the left side of the relation curves. The distribution suggests irregular innovation ability among the exporters. Moreover, the role of innovation is more important for export growth and the corresponding threshold is higher in terms of high technological sectors. The contribution of this study is to introduce a comprehensive framework to investigate the dynamic effect of innovation on export growth, serving as a modest spur to induce the following studies to explore the sustainability of innovation effect. Full article
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