IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 2779: Decomposition Analysis of Factors Affecting Changes in Industrial Wastewater Emission Intensity in China: Based on a SSBM-GMI Approach (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
This paper investigated the factors driving the changes in industrial wastewater emission intensity (IWEI) across provinces in China. To do this, we proposed a Super-efficiency Slacks-based Measure-Global Malmquist Index (SSBM-GMI) to decompose the change in IWEI into the effects from efficiency change (ECE), technological change (TCE), capital–wastewater substitution (KWE) and labor–wastewater substitution (LWE). The method was applied to conduct an empirical study using Chinese provincial data from 2003–2015. The main findings include the following: firstly, TCE was the dominant driving force behind the reduction in IWEI with an average annual contribution of −6.4% at the national level, followed by KWE (−5.3%), LWE (−1.8%) and ECE (1.2%). Secondly, significant differences exist in the driving factors behind the reduction in IWEI across regions. The reduction in IWEIs in the Northeast area and the Great Northwest area was mainly driven by productivity growth, while the reduction in IWEIs in the other areas was mainly driven by factor substitution. Thirdly, the shortage of KWE and LWE has impeded IWEI reduction in the Great Northwest area, the Middle Reaches of the Yellow River, the Northeast area and the North area. Finally, some particular policy implications were also recommended for reducing industrial wastewater emission in China.