Foreign direct investment, environmental regulation, and environmental pollution: an empirical study based on threshold effects for different Chinese regions

  • Hui Wang
  • Huifang LiuEmail author
Research Article


On the basis of previous studies on the relations among foreign direct investment (FDI), environmental regulation, and environmental pollution, this work uses provincial panel data from 2000 to 2014 to study the effects of FDI and environmental regulation on environmental pollution by applying the panel-corrected standard error (PCSE) method. This paper then utilizes environmental regulation as the threshold variable to estimate the threshold effects of environmental regulation on FDI’s influence on environmental pollution in a threshold regression model for the eastern, central, and western regions of China. The results show that stricter environmental regulation can substantially reduce the pollution in each region. FDI can decrease environmental pollution in the eastern and central regions, but it can increase pollution in the western region. There are double-threshold effects of environmental regulation on the effects of FDI on environmental pollution in each region. When the environmental regulation level is between the first threshold and the second threshold, FDI can decrease environmental pollution much more in the eastern and central regions and increase environmental pollution much less in the western region.


Foreign direct investment Environmental regulation Environmental pollution Threshold effects Different regions in China 


Funding information

The authors sincerely acknowledge two support funds. One is the Key Laboratory of Carrying Capacity Assessment for Resource and Environment and the Ministry of Land and Resources (CCA2016.05); the other is the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 53200859697).


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics and ManagementChina University of GeosciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Carrying Capacity Assessment for Resource and EnvironmentMinistry of Land and ResourcesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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