The impacts of technical progress on sulfur dioxide kuznets curve in China: A spatial panel data approach

Zhimin Zhou, Xinyue Ye, Xiangyu Ge

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53 Scopus citations


This paper aims to reveal the nexus for sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission and income, as well as the effects of technical progress on SO2 emission in China based on environment Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis. The spatial panel technique is used in case the coefficient estimates are biased due to the negligence of spatial dependence. With the provincial panel data of China from 2004 to 2014, this is the first research that finds an inverse N-trajectory of the relationship between SO2 emission and economic growth and confirms the beneficial impacts of technical advancement on SO2 emission abatement. The empirical results also suggest that the industrial structure change is an important driving force of the SO2 EKC. In addition, the direct and spillover effects of determinants on sulfur emission are clarified and estimated by a correct approach. Finally, we check the stability of our conclusions on the EKC shape for SO2 and technical progress effects when controlling for different variables and specifications, through which we find the turning points are sensitive to variables selections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number674
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 24 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


  • Environmental Kuznets curve
  • SO emission
  • Spatial panel data model
  • Technical progress


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