GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2020, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (7): 1511-1533.doi: 10.11821/dlyj020190637

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Transfer characteristics, patterns and mechanisms of polluting enterprises and industries

DAI Qiwen1,2, YANG Jingyun1, ZHANG Xiaoqi3(), HU Senlin4   

  1. 1. School of Economics and Management, Guangxi Normal University, Guilin 541004, Guangxi, China
    2. Development Research Institute of Pearl River-Xijiang River Economic Belt, Guangxi Normal University, Guilin 541004, Guangxi, China
    3. National Development Institute, Southeast University, Beijing 100083, China
    4. The Center for Modern Chinese City Studies, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
  • Received:2019-07-28 Revised:2019-10-17 Online:2020-07-20 Published:2020-09-20
  • Contact: ZHANG Xiaoqi


The transfer of polluting enterprises/industries has reshaped regional development pattern and changed the distribution of environmental pollution, which has a significant impact on regional sustainable development. The research on this transfer is of great significance for pollution control and regional coordinated development. Based on literature review, the article generalizes systematically the concepts and categories of polluting enterprises/industries and summarizes their transfer characteristics, laws, patterns and dynamic mechanisms. The review of the literature showed that: (1) official documents, pollution emission intensity, pollution emission scale are the main basis of polluting enterprises/industries definition and classification. (2) Polluting enterprises/industries form different transfer patterns on different geographical scales, and they transfer in municipal, provincial, and national scales. Three modes (decentralized peripheral areas transfer, centralized functional areas transfer, and moving away from sensitive areas) are formed within the city. The polluting enterprises/industries transfer both from developed cities to less developed cities and from areas with strong environmental regulations to marginal areas with weak environmental regulations among the cities in the province. Neighboring province has the transfer mode that is centered on developed provinces with stronger environmental regulations and spread to neighboring provinces. This transfer pattern has three paths that tend to move to the boundary of multiple provinces, move from the upstream provinces of the river to downstream provinces and move to secondary cities along the traffic line. Inter-provincial transfer of the polluting enterprises/industries forms three modes of cost-oriented, market-expanding and policy-driven factors. ③ The transfer direction of the polluting enterprises/industries presents certain characteristics and laws. We conclude fifteen kinds of transfer directions based on regional, geographic, economic, functional areas, and policy perspectives. (4) The transfer modes of polluting enterprises includes overall transfer and partial transfer. The partial transfer includes migration of production base, process outsourcing, green mergers and acquisitions, establishment of subsidiaries or branches, etc. (5) Economic, social, geographical and policy factors not only affect the transfer of polluting enterprises/industries separately, but also comprehensively form the complex transfer mechanism. In the multi-dimensional complex influence mechanism, the government plays an important role and enterprise heterogeneity, spatial agglomeration effect and system have a significant impact. Finally, the shortcomings of relevant domestic research are discussed, and some thoughts and policy recommendations for polluting enterprise/industry transfer are proposed.

Key words: polluting enterprises/industries, transfer characteristic, transfer mode, dynamic mechanism