Distinguishing the Complex Effects of Foreign Direct Investment on Environmental Pollution: Evidence from China

Jian-xun Chen, Hui Tan, Ying-Ran Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We attempt to investigate how and when foreign direct investment (FDI) impacts different types of environmental pollution in host countries. Using provincial data from China between 1995 and 2015, we find that FDI mitigates air pollution, yet it has insignificant effect on water and solid pollution. We further reveal that it is the combination of technology, scale and structure effects that jointly determines the impact of FDI on environmental pollution. Among them, technology effect takes the most dominant role, followed by scale effect and structure effect. In addition, by considering the time effect on environmental policy change, we suggest that the pollution halo effect mainly occurs after air pollution policy revision. Our findings provide insight on the complex mechanisms and theoretical boundary of FDI’s impact on different types of environmental pollutants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-44
JournalThe Energy Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

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