Total retail goods consumption, industry structure, urban population growth and pollution intensity: an application of panel data analysis for China

  • Zeeshan Khan
  • Muhammad Shahbaz
  • Manzoor AhmadEmail author
  • Fazli Rabbi
  • Yang Siqun
Research Article


There has been a growing concern regarding the regulation of environmental pollution in the face of a growing population, global warming, and climate change. Governments around the world have devised various mechanisms and policy strategies to ameliorate the worsening condition of natural environment around the world. Similar to the developed world, in China, the government is also aware of deteriorating environmental conditions. Hence, the existing abatement instruments include pollution discharge fees and several other policy strategies. This research is conducted to investigate the association between pollution intensity and its determinants, i.e., pollutant discharge fees and urban population, third industry structure, and total retail goods consumption. The secondary data of 29 provinces is used for empirical analysis. The principal component analysis is used to develop a single index called pollution intensity, and panel autoregressive distributed lags model (ARDL), or pooled mean group (PMG) analysis, is employed to find long-run and short-run relationship. The empirical findings show that pollution discharge fees negatively affects pollution intensity. Total retail good consumption and urban population increase pollution intensity. However, third industry structure helps to control pollution intensity. These results suggest reforms in the existing environmental regulations policy by targeting more pollutant intensive provinces.


Pollution discharge fees Pollution intensity Environmental regulations 



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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics and Management (SEM)Tsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Montpellier Business SchoolMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.School of Economics, Department of Industrial EconomicsNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  4. 4.Department of EconomicsAbdul Wali Khan University MardanMardanPakistan
  5. 5.Department of Economics and Development StudiesUniversity of SwatSwatPakistan

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