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Evolution of Carbon Shadow Prices in China’s Industrial Sector during 2003–2017: A By-Production Approach


Global warming and the rapid growth of carbon emissions have attracted the attention of governments and academia throughout the world. In 2006, China surpassed the United States as the emitter of the greatest volume of carbon, the largest contribution of which is derived from China’s industrial sector. This study investigated the evolution of industrial carbon shadow prices (CSPs) in China at the provincial level to assess the opportunity costs in terms of value added foregone owing to decreasing carbon emissions. A dual formulation of the by-production data envelopment analysis (DEA) model was applied to estimate the industrial carbon abatement costs in China during 2003–2017. This study represents the first attempt to apply the dual by-production DEA model for this purpose. Empirical results showed that industrial CSP increased by 3.83% annually and that the average provincial CSP was approximately $562.43 USD/ton. A significant upturn in the CSP occurred after 2006. Furthermore, disparities of changes in industrial CSP over time were checked using the test of sigma convergence. Regional divergence was observed for the period 2011–2017. Policy implications were derived from the empirical results in terms of improvements regarding carbon abatement.


Keywords: Chinese industry; carbon shadow price; by-production technology; environmental performance; carbon abatement cost


Cheng, W.; Yang, Z.; Pan, X.; Baležentis, T.; Chen, X. 2020. Evolution of Carbon Shadow Prices in China’s Industrial Sector during 2003–2017: A By-Production Approach. In Sustainability. Vol. 12, Issue 2, 722, EISSN 2071-1050, https://doi.org/10.3390/su1202072; [AGORA (FAO)external link; AGRIS - Agricultural Sciences and Technology (FAO)external link; Animal Science Database (CABI)external link; CAB Abstracts (CABI)external link; Chemical Abstracts (ACS)external link; Current Contents - Agriculture, Biology & Environmental Sciences (Clarivate Analytics)external link; Current Contents - Social & Behavioral Sciences (Clarivate Analytics)external link; DOAJ - Directory of Open Access Journalsexternal link; EconPapers (RePEc)external link; FSTA - Food Science and Technology Abstracts (IFIS)external link; Genamics JournalSeekexternal link; GeoBase (Elsevier)external link; Global Health (CABI)external link; HINARI (WHO)external link; IDEAS (RePEc)external link; Inspec (IET)external link; Journal Citation Reports / Science Edition (Clarivate Analytics)external link; Journal Citation Reports / Social Science Edition (Clarivate Analytics)external link; Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers (NSD)external link; RePEcexternal link; Review of Agricultural Entomology (CABI)external link; Science Citation Index Expanded - Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics)external link; Scopus (Elsevier)external link; Social Sciences Citation Index - Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics)external link; Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics)].


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