The Greenness of China: Household Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Urban Development

46 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2010 Last revised: 16 Dec 2013

See all articles by Siqi Zheng

Siqi Zheng

Hang Lung Center for Real Estate, Tsinghua University

Rui Wang

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Edward L. Glaeser

Harvard University - Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Matthew E. Kahn

University of Southern California; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: December 2009

Abstract

China urbanization is associated with both increases in per-capita income and greenhouse gas emissions. This paper uses micro data to rank 74 major Chinese cities with respect to their household carbon footprint. We find that the "greenest" cities based on this criterion are Huaian and Suqian while the "dirtiest" cities are Daqing and Mudanjiang. Even in the dirtiest city (Daqing), a standardized household produces only one-fifth of that in America's greenest city (San Diego). We find that the average January temperature is strongly negatively correlated with a city's household carbon footprint, which suggests that current regional economic development policies that bolster the growth of China's northeastern cities are likely to increase emissions. We use our city specific income elasticity estimates to predict the growth of carbon emissions in China's cities.

Suggested Citation

Zheng, Siqi and Wang, Rui and Glaeser, Edward L. and Kahn, Matthew E., The Greenness of China: Household Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Urban Development (December 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w15621. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1530077

Siqi Zheng (Contact Author)

Hang Lung Center for Real Estate, Tsinghua University ( email )

HeShanHeng Building
Beijing, 100084
China

HOME PAGE: http://www.siqizheng.cn

Rui Wang

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

Edward L. Glaeser

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Room 315A
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-2150 (Phone)
617-496-1722 (Fax)

Brookings Institution

1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036-2188
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Matthew E. Kahn

University of Southern California ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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