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Urbanization, Economic Development and Environmental Change

by Shushu Li 1 and Yong Ma 2,*
1
Institute of Policy and Management, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
2
China Financial Policy Research Center, School of Finance, Renmin University of China, Haidian District, 59 Zhong Guan Cun Street, Beijing 100872, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2014, 6(8), 5143-5161; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6085143
Received: 4 May 2014 / Revised: 28 July 2014 / Accepted: 31 July 2014 / Published: 11 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
This paper applies the pressure-state-response (PSR) model to establish environmental quality indices for 30 administrative regions in China from 2003 to 2011 and employs panel data analysis to study the relationships among the urbanization rate, economic development and environmental change. The results reveal a remarkable inverted-U-shaped relationship between the urbanization rate and changes in regional environmental quality; the “turning point” generally appears near an urbanization rate of 60%. In addition, the degree and mode of economic development have significant, but anisotropic effects on the regional environment. Generally, at a higher degree of economic development, the environment will tend to improve, but an extensive economic growth program that simply aims to increase GDP has a clear negative impact on the environment. Overall, the results of this paper not only further confirm the “environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis”, but also expand it in a manner. The analysis in this paper implies that the inverted-U-shaped evolving relationship between environmental quality and economic growth (urbanization) is universally applicable. View Full-Text
Keywords: urbanization process; economic development; environmental change; PSR model urbanization process; economic development; environmental change; PSR model
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Li, S.; Ma, Y. Urbanization, Economic Development and Environmental Change. Sustainability 2014, 6, 5143-5161.

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