The relationship between higher education and economic development has long been emphasized in the research on economics and education. Much of the existing literature focuses on the gross domestic product (GDP) as a core measure of a nation’s economic accounting system, but this may neglect some negative effects of production, such as resource depletion and environmental damage. Under such circumstances, the concept of “green GDP” was conceived to consider environmental influence simultaneously with the economy. It is, however, only theoretically feasible due to the complexity in calculating environmental pollution and the unavailability of data about resource consumption. Considering the measurement problems, this paper proposes a new approach to indirectly estimate green GDP. Using this approach, we mainly explore the impact of higher education on economic growth, especially regarding the development of a green economy. Results show that (a) higher education plays a significant role in building a green economy, and (b) green GDP is more responsive to changes in higher education than the traditional GDP. This study provides empirical evidence for the substantial contribution that higher education makes in promoting green economic growth to achieve comprehensive sustainable development.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited