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《Journal of Glaciolgy and Geocryology》 2001-04
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Economic Diversity and Sustainable Development in China

XU Zhong-min,CHENG Dong jing,CHENG Guo dong (State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering, CAREERI,CAS,Lanzhou Gansu 730000, China)  
Economic system, developing with time, tends to become more complex with increase in structure and throughput. Energy consumption increases with development of economic sectors and channels for energy flow. Economic diversity is a measure of the number of economic sectors which consume energy and the equitableness of energy consumption between the sectors. Development capacity, as a product of the system energy consumption and the diversity of energy flow, is a measure of the potential output of the system. In this paper the development capacity is calculated for China and its provinces. The measure of the change in the diversity, energy flow and development capacity is a useful tool for predicting whether a country's development strategies and policies are promoting or hindering sustainable development. An empirical analysis using the data of China and its provinces seems to substantiate the above view point. The analysis shows that the relationship between the change in development capacity and the change in GDP from 1980 to 1998 was significant and positive ( r =0.66). The change in development capacity appears to be a reasonably good predictor of the change in GDP. In China, the diversity index was declining slowly from 1980 to 1998. At the same time the energy consumption was increasing. The policy of energy was not suitable for sustainable development. China appears to increase energy consumption to push its economic development, but there was a negative effect, such as pollution and income distribution disparities, which will eventually slow down the economic development. The better approach is to increase economic diversity so that the energy consumption can decline while the development capacity keeps at the same level. The result of a cross sectional analysis is not perfect. The reason is the differences across the sectional provinces. There are other factors at work, which vary across provinces more than they vary with time. According to Ulanowicz's Formula, there are two distinct development strategies, one is promoting energy consumption and another is economic diversity. A sustainable development policy relies on increasing the diversity of economic system, which results in fewer externalities and increasing cumulative economic efficiency. The economic sustainable development requires to has an efficient system with moderate consumption and high diversity. A sustainable development strategy relies on increasing economic diversity with decreasing or steady energy consumption. Owing to the environmental impact resulted from energy consumption the government should promote a development strategy which focuses on sustainable development by enhancing economic diversity. In China, adjusting energy prices through taxes is one way to keep prices somewhat equitable and to decrease energy consumption and thus increase the diversity.
【Fund】: 中国科学院知识创新工程重大项目 (KZCX1 10 0 3;KZCX1 0 9 0 4);; 中国科学院寒区旱区环境与工程研究所知识创新工程项目(CACX2 10 0 18)资助
【CateGory Index】: F062.1
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