With the global deterioration of ecology and the widening of inequality, achieving green, inclusive and sustainable economic growth has received worldwide recognition. The essence of green transition is the revolution of development mode, which requires a large amount of environmental investment, including enterprise pollution control and green R&D innovation, so as to promote the cleaning of traditional industries and the rise of green industries. In order to ensure that a large amount of environmental investment can be carried out, on the one hand, sound and strict environmental regulations need to be implemented by the environmental protection agency to stimulate enterprises’ demand of environmental investment; on the other hand, the supply capacity of green funds by the financial sector also needs to be improved, so as to reduce the environmental financing constraints faced by enterprises. Therefore, financial development and environmental regulations can produce synergy at both ends of supply and demand of environmental investment and have a coordination effect on green economic transition. This paper exploits a comprehend dataset on the information of industrial production, pollution emission and green innovation of 284 cities in China from 2004 to 2015 to test the coordination effect. In recent years, the innovation and development of China’s financial system are reflected in local small financial institutions, in which the development of city commercial banks (CCB) has become an important symbol. With information advantages, more flexible supervision and diversified ownership structure, CCB can reduce information asymmetry in the lending process and alleviate the financing constraints faced by enterprises. Measuring the urban financial development based on the increase in the branches of CCB, this paper finds that local financial development can significantly reduce the industrial SO2 emission, the main pollutant in cities, in coordination with environmental regulations. The mechanism analysis shows that financial development and environmental regulations can synergistically promote industrial pollution control and green technological innovation, which reduces the emission intensity of industrial pollution and promotes the rise of green industry, thus promoting industrial green transition, without significant reduction of production. The conclusions remain stable after a series of endogenous and robustness tests. Heterogeneity analysis also reveals that environmental information asymmetry, the shortage of market intermediary service agency and the weak of the ability of technology commercialization will impair the coordination effect. The contributions of this paper are mainly reflected in two aspects: First, it reveals the factor of financial development in affecting green economic transition, which enriches the existing literature on financing constraints, financial development and economic green transition, and also provides useful policy enlightenment for the development of green economy. It is necessary to not only strictly implement environmental regulations, but also pay attention to the financial support and guidance role of the financial sector, so as to promote enterprises’ pollution control and green R&D innovation. Second, to improve the supply capacity of green funds, China needs to not only deepen the reform of the financial system and make up for the shortcomings existing in the financial system, but also further improve the relevant supporting systems required for the development of green finance, including improving the enterprise environmental information disclosure and sharing mechanism, developing green financial intermediary service agency, and cultivating professional technical management talents, so as to improve the operational ability of green financial business during the supply of green funds.
Financial Development, Environmental Regulations and Green Economic Transition
Journal of Finance and Economics Vol. 47, Issue 11, pp. 78 - 93 (2021) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.jfe.20210918.301
Cite this article
Zhang Jianpeng, Chen Shiyi. Financial Development, Environmental Regulations and Green Economic Transition[J]. Journal of Finance and Economics, 2021, 47(11): 78-93.
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