Trade openness, environmental regulation, and human capital in China: based on ARDL cointegration and Granger causality analysis

  • Huaide Wen
  • Jun DaiEmail author
Research Article


This research aims to examine the empirical cointegration, long-run and short-run dynamics, and causal relationships between trade openness, environmental regulation, and human capital level in China throughout 1990–2016. Based on the ARDL Bounds Testing method, the empirical results confirmed long-run cointegration between trade openness, environmental regulation, and human capital level. Environmental regulation and trade openness have a significant positive impact on the human capital level, and environmental regulation has a U-shaped effect on human capital accumulation. The Granger causality test results indicate that environmental regulation Granger causes human capital level, the human capital level Granger causes trade openness, and trade openness and environmental regulation have a bidirectional relationship. This research brings new contributions to sustainable development theory.


Trade openness Environmental regulation Human capital level ARDL 


Funding information

This research is supported by the Chinese National Social Science Fund Youth Project (Grant No. 16CJL050). The authors want to thank the editor and the anonymous referees for their helpful comments and suggestions that considerably improved the earlier versions of this paper.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Qianjiang CollegeHangzhou Normal UniversityHangzhouChina

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