This study seeks to contribute to the recent literature by empirically investigating the causal effect of urban population growth and international trade on environmental pollution of China, for the period 1980–2014. The Johansen cointegration confirmed a long-run cointegration association among the utilised variables for the case of China. The direction of causality among the variables was, consequently, investigated using the recent bootstrapped Granger causality test. This bootstrapped Granger causality approach is preferred as it provides robust and accurate critical values for statistical inferences. The findings from the causality analysis revealed the existence of a bi-directional causality between import and urban population. The three most paramount variables that explain the environmental pollution in China, according to the impulse response function, are imports, urbanisation and energy consumption. Our study further established the presence of an N-shaped environmental Kuznets curve relationship between economic growth and environmental pollution of China. Hence, our study recommends that China should adhere to stricter environmental regulations in international trade, as well as enforce policies that promote energy efficiency in the urban residential and commercial sector, in the quest to mitigate environmental pollution issues as the economy advances.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 12, 2017
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