Environmental policy innovation in China and examining its dynamic relations with air pollution and economic growth using SEM panel data

  • Mohaddeseh AzimiEmail author
  • Feng FengEmail author
  • Chongyang Zhou
Research Article


Along with monitoring air pollution level and rapid economic growth in China, the government has paid attention to the environmental policy innovation (EPI) capacity of local governments. However, scholarly research has not yet clarified the ability of local governments in EPI and its related drivers and impacts. This study explores the dynamic relations between EPI, air pollution, and the economy for the first time, using the simultaneous equation model (SEM) in China during 2006–2015 across 30 provinces. To calculate EPI, this study introduces the comprehensive concept of policy innovation, consisting of invention, diffusion, and evaluation. The results show that EPI is strongly promoted by air pollution; however, promoting EPI alone cannot decrease air pollution. These results would vary among eastern and western provinces. Economic growth has a significant positive effect on EPI and can significantly reduce air pollution. This study suggests policymakers strengthen EPI in order to achieve a balance between air pollution and economic growth.


Environmental policy innovation Air pollution China panel data Simultaneous equation model 



The authors express sincere gratitude to three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments to improve the quality of this paper.

Supplementary material

11356_2020_7644_MOESM1_ESM.docx (838 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 837 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Management, University of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiChina

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