Based on the quasi-natural experiment of national e-commerce demonstration cities, this paper studies the influence of the construction of national e-commerce demonstration cities on the green and high-quality development of the city and its mechanism by using the “progressive” DID method. It is found that compared with non-state e-commerce demonstration cities, the construction of national e-commerce demonstration cities significantly promotes the green and high-quality development of cities. We also adopt identification strategies such as instrumental variable method, PSM-DID method and placebo test, and find that the conclusions are still valid. Further research shows that the positive promotion effect is more significant in the samples of large-sized cities and resource-based cities. It is found that national e-commerce demonstration cities promote the green and high-quality development of the city mainly through the three channels of industrial structure upgrading effect, economic agglomeration effect and transaction cost reduction effect.
This paper has three main contributions: Firstly, from the perspective of e-commerce development, it examines the impact of national e-commerce demonstration city construction on green and high-quality development for the first time, and expands and deepens the existing academic literature on green development and environmental pollution factors. Secondly, it evaluates the policy effect and mechanism of China’s e-commerce demonstration cities from the perspective of urban green and high-quality development, verifies that the construction of national e-commerce demonstration cities has a promoting effect on the green and high-quality development of cities, and provides empirical guidance for the further promotion and improvement of this type of urban development model. Thirdly, it adopts the identification strategy of the post stations in the Ming Dynasty and the number of telephone sets per 10,000 people in 1984 as instrumental variables, which is helpful to effectively identify the causal relationship between the pilot policies of national e-commerce demonstration cities and the green and high-quality urban development.