Will Mismatched New Infrastructure Investment Cause Air Pollution Crisis? Environmental Impact Analysis Based on the Coupling Degree of Digital Economy and new Infrastructure Investment
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School of Economics and Trade, Hunan University of Technology and Business, Changsha, Hunan, 410000, China
Submission date: 2023-03-01
Final revision date: 2023-03-27
Acceptance date: 2023-05-04
Online publication date: 2023-07-24
Publication date: 2023-08-11
Corresponding author
Kunjie Zhu   

Department of Economics and Trade, Hunan University of Technology and Business, Hunan, China., 岳麓大道569号湖南工商大学贤德10栋, 410006, 湖南省 长沙市 岳麓区, China
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2023;32(5):4429-4445
Although new infrastructure investment is generally considered to have a high environmental improvement expectation, mismatched new infrastructure investment still has the potential to damage the environment. This study examines the environmental impact of the matching degree (NDC) between new infrastructure investment (NII) and digital economy (DECO), using comprehensive economic theory and the panel data of 30 provinces from 2011 to 2019 in China. We employ a range of models including fixed effect, lag effect, threshold effect, and spatial autoregressive models, as well as regional heterogeneity tests. Our results indicate that NII, DECO, NDC, and PM2.5 all have significant spatial spillover effects. In addition, our results indicate that both NII and NDC significantly promote the weakening of haze concentration, and NDC has a strong hysteresis effect. Moreover, the significant single-threshold effect reveals structural mutations in the environmental impact of NII and NDC in air pollution. All the results remained valid under a series of robustness tests. Based on these empirical results, we provide a theoretical and empirical basis about environmental protection for the government to implement new infrastructure investment and digital economy, and the research has implications for other developed or developing countries as well.
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