Next Article in Journal
Novel Role of Rural Official Organization in the Biomass-Based Power Supply Chain in China: A Combined Game Theory and Agent-Based Simulation Approach
Next Article in Special Issue
Ecological Security and Ecosystem Services in Response to Land Use Change in the Coastal Area of Jiangsu, China
Previous Article in Journal
The Role of Generativity in the Effects of Corporate Social Responsibility on Consumer Behavior
Previous Article in Special Issue
Forested Land Use Efficiency in China: Spatiotemporal Patterns and Influencing Factors from 1999 to 2010
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 812;

Urbanization and Its Effects on Industrial Pollutant Emissions: An Empirical Study of a Chinese Case with the Spatial Panel Model

School of Economics and Management, Southeast University, 2 Si Pai Lou, Nanjing 210000, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Yongrok Choi, Malin Song and Seunghwan Myeong
Received: 14 July 2016 / Revised: 8 August 2016 / Accepted: 12 August 2016 / Published: 18 August 2016
Full-Text   |   PDF [2872 KB, uploaded 18 August 2016]   |  


Urbanization is considered a main indicator of regional economic development due to its positive effect on promoting industrial development; however, many regions, especially developing countries, have troubled in its negative effect—the aggravating environmental pollution. Many researchers have addressed that the rapid urbanization stimulated the expansion of the industrial production and increased the industrial pollutant emissions. However, this statement is exposed to a grave drawback in that urbanization not only expands industrial production but also improves labor productivity and changes industrial structure. To make up this drawback, we first decompose the influence of urbanization impacts on the industrial pollutant emissions into the scale effect, the intensive effect, and the structure effect by using the Kaya Identity and the LMDI Method; second, we perform an empirical study of the three effects by applying the spatial panel model on the basis of the data from 282 prefecture-level cities of China from 2003 to 2014. Our results indicate that (1) there are significant reverse U-shapes between China’s urbanization rate and the volume of industrial wastewater discharge, sulfur dioxide emissions and soot (dust) emissions; (2) the relationship between China’s urbanization and the industrial pollutant emissions depends on the scale effect, the intensive effect and the structure effect jointly. Specifically, the scale effect and the structure effect tend to aggravate the industrial wastewater discharge, the sulfur dioxide emissions and the soot (dust) emissions in China’s cities, while the intensive effect results in decreasing the three types of industrial pollutant emissions; (3) there are significant spatial autocorrelations of the industrial pollutant emissions among China’s cities, but the spatial spillover effect is non-existent or non-significant. We attempt to explain this contradiction due to the fact that the vast rural areas around China’s cities serve as sponge belts and absorb the spatial spillover of the industrial pollutant emissions from cities. According to the results, we argue the decomposition of the three effects is necessary and meaningful, it establishes a cornerstone in understanding the definite relationship between urbanization and industrial pollutant emissions, and effectively contributes to the relative policy making. View Full-Text
Keywords: industrial pollutant emissions; urbanization; the spatial panel model; Chinese case industrial pollutant emissions; urbanization; the spatial panel model; Chinese case

Figure 1

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. (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Guo, J.; Xu, Y.; Pu, Z. Urbanization and Its Effects on Industrial Pollutant Emissions: An Empirical Study of a Chinese Case with the Spatial Panel Model. Sustainability 2016, 8, 812.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top