22 Novembre – Séminaire du Gretha

16 h Université de Bordeaux Campus de Pessac Salle F340

Séminaire IDM / GREThA-Bordeaux Développement : Matthieu CLEMENT (GREThA, université de Bordeaux)

"Income inequality and environmental quality in China: A semi-parametric analysis applied to provincial panel data "

Abstract: This article contributes to the literature on the inequality-environment nexus in China by filling three major gaps. First, we enlarge the scope of environmental variables so as to include several air and water pollutants. Second, we combine different data sources to construct several measures of income inequality at provincial level to reflect its social and spatial dimensions. Third, we propose to use flexible semi-parametric methods in order to analyze the potential nonlinearities in the inequality-environment relationship. Our investigations emphasize that this relationship is more complex than previously evidenced, because the association is non-linear and depends on the pollution and inequality variables taken into account. Four conclusions can be drawn from this empirical study. (i) Provincial inequality has a decreasing effect on air and water pollution. (ii) This negative association is primarily explained by inequality between urban and rural areas, which also has a negative impact on environment quality. This result is of particular interest since it reveals that the effects of pollution-reducing policies will probably be altered by policies aiming at reducing regional income disparities through industrialization. (iii) Urban income inequality contributes to increasing soot emissions and water pollution, which confirms the deleterious impact of inequality for localized pollutions. (iv) Rural income inequality has no clear effects on environmental quality.

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