Environmental regulations, the industrial structure, and high-quality regional economic development: evidence from China

Lingming Chen, Wenzhong Ye, Congjia Huo*, Kieran James

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Environmental regulation is an important means of restraining enterprises and protecting the environment. Rationalization of environmental regulatory policies can promote high-quality regional economic development. The optimization and upgrading of the industrial structure has an intermediary effect on the impact of environmental regulations on the high-quality development of the regional economy. After collating and analyzing previous research, this article proposes to classify 30 Chinese provinces into regions with higher than the national average HDI (human development index) and lower than the national average HDI based on the average HDI of Chinese provinces. We explore the mediating effect of industrial structure on environmental regulation and high-quality regional economic development. The model passed the full-sample robustness test and the robustness test with GDP as the replacement variable. The empirical results show that environmental regulations of different intensities have different effects on the quality of regional economic development. The effect of environmental regulations on development quality is mainly mediated through the transformation and upgrading of the industrial structure. Enterprises need reasonable incentives from environmental regulations to transform and upgrade. The mediating effect of the industrial structure on environmental regulations is greater in regions with below-average HDI values than in regions with above-average HDI values, which shows that the industrial structure is the mechanism underlying the effect of environmental regulations on the quality of regional economic development. This result proves that adjusting environmental regulatory policies can effectively promote the upgrading of industrial structure, thereby promoting high-quality regional economic development. Based on this, the article puts forward several policy recommendations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number517
Number of pages22
JournalLand
Volume9
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • environmental regulation
  • industrial structure
  • regional economy
  • high-quality development
  • HDI zone

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