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Article

The Effects of City-County Mergers on Urban Energy Intensity: Empirical Evidence from Chinese Cities

1
School of Public Administration, Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, Xi’an 710055, China
2
School of Public Administration, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8839; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168839
Received: 13 July 2021 / Revised: 19 August 2021 / Accepted: 20 August 2021 / Published: 22 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
The adjustment of administrative division is one of the powerful tools used to promote urbanization by the Chinese government in recent decades, and there is little literature to discuss whether the government-led expansion of urban space through city-county mergers can bring about a decline in urban energy intensity. With the multi-period difference-in-differences (DID) method and comprehensive urban datasets, this research investigates the urban energy intensity results of the city-county mergers policy experiment in China from 2000 to 2017. We present evidence that city-county mergers are indeed beneficial in reducing urban energy intensity, and that the energy-saving effect of the policy only starts to become significant in the third year after implementation. We also further adopt a series of robustness tests, such as the counterfactual test, placebo tests and PSM-DID tests to find if this effect still exists. The mechanism test with mediating effects indicates they are potential contributors to the positive effects of mergers with moderate fiscal centralization, population agglomeration and regional integration. We further explore positive effects of mergers, relying on the scientifically design official appraisal system and improve government efficiency. View Full-Text
Keywords: city-county merger; mediating effects; multi-period difference-in-differences method; urban energy intensity city-county merger; mediating effects; multi-period difference-in-differences method; urban energy intensity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, Z.; Yan, R.; Zhang, Z.; Sun, Y.; Zhang, X. The Effects of City-County Mergers on Urban Energy Intensity: Empirical Evidence from Chinese Cities. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 8839. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168839

AMA Style

Li Z, Yan R, Zhang Z, Sun Y, Zhang X. The Effects of City-County Mergers on Urban Energy Intensity: Empirical Evidence from Chinese Cities. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(16):8839. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168839

Chicago/Turabian Style

Li, Zhi, Ruyi Yan, Zuo Zhang, Yue Sun, and Xiaogang Zhang. 2021. "The Effects of City-County Mergers on Urban Energy Intensity: Empirical Evidence from Chinese Cities" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 16: 8839. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168839

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