Spatial Spillover Effects of Environmental Pollution in China’s Central Plains Urban Agglomeration
Promoting the rise of Central China is one of the most important national strategies regarding the promotion of China's economic development. However, the environmental issues in the central regions have become remarkably severe. It is therefore worthwhile exploring how economic development and environmental protection can be coordinated. Focusing on the 29 prefecture-level cities in the Central Plains Urban Agglomeration, the authors empirically analyze the relationship between the economy and the environment from 2004 to 2014. The combined methods of the spatial autocorrelation model, the environmental Kuznets curve, and the global spatial correlation test are systematically employed. The results show that: (1) a strong spatial correlation exists between industrial wastewater discharge, industrial sulfur dioxide, and dust emissions in the Central Plains Urban Agglomeration; (2) the relationship between the economy and the environment of this urban agglomeration reveals an inverted "U" curve, which confirms the classical environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis. Industrial dust emissions have surpassed the inflection point of the Kuznets curve, but its spatial spillover effect still remains strong. This is caused by an accumulation effect and a lag effect; (3) the proportion of the secondary industry and population has a strong positive effect on pollution discharge; investments in science and technology have a certain inhibitory effect on industrial sulfur dioxide emission. Moreover, an increase in the number of industrial enterprises has a negative effect on industrial wastewater emission. At the end, the authors put forward policy recommendations regarding the establishment of a joint supervisory department and unified environmental standards at the regional level to deal with the spillover effects of pollution. © 2018 by the authors.