Does structural labor change affect CO.sub.2 emissions? Theoretical and empirical evidence from China.

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Date: Oct. 2021
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Report
Length: 466 words

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Keywords Labor force transfer; Agricultural industry; Non-agricultural industry; CO.sub.2 emissions; China Highlights * A neoclassical framework to incorporate the characteristics of labor force transfer and pollutant emissions in China. * A panel data of China's 29 provinces from 1995 to 2012 is utilized to verify the two propositions of the theoretical model. * Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) estimator is employed to control for potential endogeneity and to introduce dynamics. * A higher ratio of the labor force working in the non-agricultural sector leads to higher pollution. * Faster labor force transfer from the agricultural to non-agricultural sectors may delay the occurrence of peak pollutions. * The influence of labor transfer on CO.sub.2 emissions is subject to the level of economic development in the long run. Abstract Since 2010, a severe lack of migrant workers has occurred in some provinces in China, indicating a sharp decline in labor force transfer in the primary industry during the economic transition. This decline is believed to have resulted in a decrease in carbon emissions. A neoclassical framework was built to estimate the labor force mitigation effect on CO.sub.2 emissions theoretically. The specific features of the nexus of CO.sub.2 emissions, economic development, and rural-urban transfer were investigated and evaluated within this framework. Two important propositions were derived from the theoretical model. First, the higher the ratio of the labor force working in the non-agricultural sector, the higher the emissions. Second, the speed of labor force transfer from the agricultural to non-agricultural sectors impacts peak emission levels. In the empirical study, data from China's 29 provinces for 1995-2012 were utilized to examine the two propositions. The GMM method was employed to control the possible endogeneity problem and introduce dynamics to the model. The empirical results verified the theoretical propositions. In addition, we concluded that the impact of labor transfer on CO.sub.2 emissions is subject to socioeconomic development levels in the long run. Author Affiliation: (a) Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China (b) School of Management and Economics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China (c) Collaborative Innovation Center of Electric Vehicles in Beijing, Beijing 100081, China (d) Sustainable Development Research Institute for Economy and Society of Beijing, Beijing 100081, China (e) Beijing Key Lab of Energy Economics and Environmental Management, Beijing, 100081, China (f) Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, School of International Development, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK (g) School of Environmental Science &Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China * Corresponding Authors. Article History: Received 3 January 2021; Revised 30 May 2021; Accepted 1 June 2021 (footnote)1 These authors contributed equally to this study and share first authorship. Byline: Yu Hao [haoyuking@gmail.com] (a,b,c,d,e,*), Zong-Yong Zhang [zongyong8090@163.com] (a,f,g,1), Chuxiao Yang [yangchuxiao1991@hotmail.com] (a,b,*), Haitao Wu [haitao.kungfuer@gmail.com] (a,b,1)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A669373577