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Open AccessArticle

The Effects of Urban Sprawl and Industrial Agglomeration on Environmental Efficiency: Evidence from the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei Urban Agglomeration

by 1, 1,2, 1,* and 1
1
College of Management and Economics, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
2
Research Center for Circular Economy and Enterprise Sustainable Development, Tianjin University of Technology, Tianjin 300384, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3042; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113042
Received: 5 April 2019 / Revised: 8 May 2019 / Accepted: 24 May 2019 / Published: 29 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Energy Economics and Policy)
Environmental efficiency evaluation is an effective way to assess the synergetic development degree between the economy and environment. In order to realize the mechanism of the effects of urban sprawl and industrial agglomeration on environmental efficiency by using the super efficiency Slacks-based Measure (SBM) model with undesirable outputs, this paper firstly calculates the environmental efficiency of the 13 cities in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei urban agglomeration from 2006 to 2017. Then, based on the panel data of the 13 cities, we empirically examine the influence of urban sprawl and industrial agglomeration on environmental efficiency by adopting the panel Tobit regression model. The results show that large gaps exist in the degree of the cities’ environmental efficiency in the research period, and only Beijing’s environmental efficiency exhibits full efficiency in the 13 cities, with the overall environmental efficiency of the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei urban agglomeration presenting a decreasing trend. Additionally, the Tobit regression results indicate that urban sprawl has a significantly negative impact on environmental efficiency, but with the continual improvement of industrial agglomeration, the negative effects of urban sprawl will be partially offset. From the regression results of control variables, economic growth and urbanization developments have an inhibiting effect on the promotion of environmental efficiency. Furthermore, industrial structure optimization and technological innovation are helpful to improve environmental efficiency. The opening-up policy has had a significantly positive impact on environmental efficiency, and the “pollution paradise” hypothesis was untenable in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei urban agglomeration. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban sprawl; industrial agglomeration; environmental efficiency; Super efficiency SBM model; panel Tobit regression model urban sprawl; industrial agglomeration; environmental efficiency; Super efficiency SBM model; panel Tobit regression model
MDPI and ACS Style

Feng, D.; Li, J.; Li, X.; Zhang, Z. The Effects of Urban Sprawl and Industrial Agglomeration on Environmental Efficiency: Evidence from the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei Urban Agglomeration. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3042.

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