Resources Science ›› 2020, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (3): 527-535.doi: 10.18402/resci.2020.03.11

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The impact of global value chain position on carbon emissions

XU Bo1,2, YANG Laike1,4(), QIAN Zhiquan3   

  1. 1.School of Economics, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    2.Department of Economics, University of Victoria, Victoria V8P5C2, Canada
    3.College of Economics and Management, Zhejiang A & F University, Hangzhou 311330, China
    4.Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin 14195, Germany
  • Received:2019-03-15 Revised:2019-07-15 Online:2020-03-25 Published:2020-05-25
  • Contact: YANG Laike


As the global value chain (GVC) plays an increasingly more important role in the global economy and trade, the impact of GVC on resources and the environment has attracted increasingly greater attention. In order to explore the impact of GVC position on carbon emissions, we focused on major global economies and combined GVC index with the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) carbon emission database to form panel data for analyzing the impact of GVC position on carbon emissions, based on the environmental Kuznets curve. A structural equation model was used to perform endogenous analysis and robustness test. The empirical results show that, similar to the environmental Kuznets curve, the impact of GVC position on carbon emissions showed an inverted U-shaped relationship. Further mechanism analysis found that improved GVC position can reduce carbon emissions through increased use of green energies. Using cross-item analysis, improved GVC position can help R&D investment and innovation and entrepreneurship levels, which in turn reduces carbon emissions. Meanwhile, the increase in R&D investment levels and the improvement of innovation and entrepreneurship can improve the status of GVC positions, helping the economy to cross the turning point faster and shift to a more low-carbon and environmentally friendly development model. The research conclusions may enrich the application of global value chain theory in the environment field and provide new ideas for exploring the theory of carbon emission reduction.

Key words: global value chain position, carbon emission, technology progress, green energy, environmental Kuznets curve