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Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society
Volume 2017, Article ID 4673262, 13 pages
Research Article

Socioeconomic Drivers of Environmental Pollution in China: A Spatial Econometric Analysis

1School of Economics & Trade, Hunan University, Changsha, Hunan Province 410079, China
2Hunan University of Finance and Economics, Changsha, Hunan Province 410025, China
3School of Hydraulic Engineering, Changsha University of Science and Technology, Changsha, Hunan Province 410114, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Runchu Wei; moc.361@uhcnuriew

Received 20 April 2017; Accepted 11 June 2017; Published 3 August 2017

Academic Editor: Ricardo López-Ruiz

Copyright © 2017 Jianmin Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper studies the environmental pollution and its impacts in China using prefecture-level cities and municipalities data. Moran’s I, the widely used spatial autocorrelation index, provides a fairly strong pattern of spatial clustering of environmental pollution and suggests a fairly high stability of the positive spatial correlation. To investigate the driving forces of environmental pollution and explore the relationship between fiscal decentralization, economic growth, and environmental pollution, spatial Durbin model is used for this analysis. The result shows that fiscal decentralization of local unit plays a significant role in promoting the environmental pollution and the feedback effect of fiscal decentralization on environmental pollution is also positive, though it is not significant. The relationship of GDP per capita and environmental pollution shows inverted U-shaped curve. Due to the scale effect of secondary industry, the higher the level of secondary industry development in a unit is, the easier it is to attract the secondary industry in adjacent units, which mitigates the environmental pollution in adjacent units. Densely populated areas tend to deteriorate local environment, but environmental regulation in densely populated areas is often tighter than other areas, which reduces environmental pollution to a certain extent.