Even though higher education R&D expenditures (HEEXP) are important determinants of economic growth that facilitate science, technology, new ideas, and innovation, yet its effect on environmental sustainability remains unexplored. This paper examines the nexus between HEEXP and carbon dioxide emissions (CO2e), followed by control variables such as electricity consumption (EC), foreign direct investment (FDI), gross domestic product (GDP), and total population (TP) for the period 2000Q1–2019Q4. Data were evaluated using different tests, e.g., the cross-sectional dependence test, cross-sectionally augmented Dickey-Fuller unit root test, Westerlund error-correction–based panel cointegration test, mean group, augmented mean group, common correlated effects mean group, and Dumitrescu-Hurlin panel causality test. First, the results validated the cointegration association among HEEXP, EC, FDI, GDP, TP, and CO2e. Second, the finding showed significant long-term negative nexus between HEEXP and CO2e. Third, the findings indicated that electricity consumption, foreign direct investment, gross domestic product, and total population are the important factors that intensify the overall situation of CO2e. Fourth, the results indicated that there exists bidirectional causality between EC and CO2e; FDI and CO2e; GDP and CO2e; POP and CO2e; and HEEXP and CO2e. This paper’s findings call for devising policies and strengthening financial support to induce higher education for developing green patents. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.
CitationSu, Y., Jiang, Q., Khattak, S. I., Ahmad, M., & Li, H. (2021). Do higher education research and development expenditures affect environmental sustainability? New evidence from Chinese provinces. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 28(47), 66656–66676. doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-14685-w
- Higher education R&D expenditures
- Electricity consumption
- PG student publication