Can technology R&D continuously improve green development level in the open economy? Empirical evidence from China’s industrial sector

Abstract

Applying a global DEA model based on non-radial directional distance function, this paper constructs a comprehensive efficiency index to estimate green development level and further identifies the influencing mechanism of technology R&D on green development in China’s industrial sector. The results demonstrate that the level of green development in China’s industrial sector declined year by year and the average was 0.27, and it also shows significant regional characteristics within the sample period. Besides, the environment pollution transferred from the east to the central and the west. In addition, the results also indicate that there is a threshold effect for the impact of technology R&D on China’s industrial green development. Based on the volume of the trade openness, this effect presents a “N”-type characteristic that tilts to the right. According to the research results, the corresponding policy recommendations are put forward, which may be of great importance to improve the green development level in China’s industrial sector.

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Abbreviations

GDI:

Green Development index

Technology R&D:

Technology research and development

DEA:

Data envelopment analysis

SDF:

Shephard distance function

DDF:

Directional distance function

NDDF:

Non-radial distance function

EC:

Change in efficiency

TPC:

Change in technology progress

CEC:

Change in the catch-up effect

TE:

Green technology efficiency

GPR:

Green technology process gap ratio

TCR:

Green technology catch–effect gap ratio

MGD:

Malmquist GD index

FDI:

foreign direct investment

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Acknowledgments

The research was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China (2019VI020).

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Correspondence to Keyu Qin.

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Fei, R., Cui, A. & Qin, K. Can technology R&D continuously improve green development level in the open economy? Empirical evidence from China’s industrial sector. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-09357-0

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Keywords

  • China’s industrial sector
  • Green development
  • Threshold regression
  • Technology research and development
  • Trade openness