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Market competition, green technology progress and comparative advantages in China

Malin Song (Research Center of Statistics for Management, Anhui University of Finance and Economics, Bengbu, China)
Shuhong Wang (Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 8 January 2018



Technical progress is an important technique within improving China’s comparative advantages, as new and renewable technologies will be beneficial for energy security. Productive technical progress and green technical innovation are necessary to improve working conditions and productivity of industries. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to study technical progress in China under such harsh competitive circumstances, as well as types of technical progress that can be promoted, productive technical progress or green technology progress, and how technical progress will affect China’s competitive advantages.


The authors perform a multi-index multi-factor constitutive model based on a sample of 468 Chinese industries, and divide the industries into four categories.


The results indicate that there is a “U”-shape relationship between green technology progress and comparative advantages and an inverted “U”-shape relationship between the intensity of market competition and comparative advantages.

Research limitations/implications

China has crossed the inflection point of the “U”-shaped curve. This, coupled with the slowing of economic growth, demonstrates the need for advocating green technology in China to decrease the pollutant discharge. Establishing Chinese national brands within overseas markets and earning a profit through the downstream of production chain enhance China’s international competitiveness.


One of the most original findings of this paper points out that China is faced with a situation in which exports are severely decreased and domestic environment pollution is increased. Vigorous promotion of green technology progress, improvement of the quality and the technical content of exported products, the establishment of national brand within the overseas market, as well as enhancement of China’s international competitiveness, is needed.



This work was supported by Major Projects in Philosophy and Social Science Research of the Ministry of Education of China under (Grant No. 14JZD031); the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University under (Grant No. NCET-12-0595); the National Natural Science Foundation of China under (Grant Nos 71171001; 71471001 & 71601170); and Projects in Philosophy and Social Science Research of the Ministry of Education of China under (Grant No. 16YJC630123).


Song, M. and Wang, S. (2018), "Market competition, green technology progress and comparative advantages in China", Management Decision, Vol. 56 No. 1, pp. 188-203.



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