Regional Green Innovation Path Selection in China’s Complex Environment: An fsQCA Exploration
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School of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China
Submission date: 2023-08-18
Final revision date: 2023-12-03
Acceptance date: 2023-12-28
Online publication date: 2024-06-12
Publication date: 2024-06-27
Corresponding author
Yuying Jin   

School of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2024;33(5):5140-5153
Green innovation plays a critical role in attaining carbon neutrality and supporting high-quality economic development in China; however, its promotion remains challenging. Hence, this study uses asymmetric innovation theory and fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to explore the drivers of green innovation in China’s complex regional environments. Using data from 30 Chinese provinces, it investigates the combined effects of factors at the market, institution, and technology levels on regional green innovation. The findings indicate the following. (1) R&D investment is necessary for high-level green innovation, whereas its absence is a necessary condition for low-level green innovation. (2) Three configurations produce high-level green innovation, and these configurations coalesce into demand–regulation–subsidy–technology-driven and competition–technology-driven paths. (3) Four configurations result in low-level green innovation, and the antecedent configurations of high-level and low-level green innovation have an asymmetric relationship. This study adds to the understanding of the causal configurations that promote green innovation and provides valuable insights for policymakers in China and other developing regions.
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