Impact of the digital economy on total factor energy efficiency: evidence from 268 Chinese cities
Due to the advancement of digital technology, the digital economy has developed rapidly, profoundly changing human production and lifestyles, thereby promoting the dual digital transformation of the energy supply and demand sides and having a profound impact on energy utilization efficiency. Based on measuring the total factor energy efficiency (TFEE) of 268 cities in China from 2011 to 2019, we analyze the total and indirect effects of the digital economy on TFEE using a mediated effects model and examine the effects of urban heterogeneity from the perspectives of geographical location, city size, and resource endowment. The results show that the digital economy has a significant positive contribution to TFEE. In addition, the digital economy can promote TFEE through industrial structure upgrading, technological innovation, and environmental regulation. The test results of the subsample show that there is significant heterogeneity in the impact and mechanism of action of the digital economy on TFEE in different geographical locations, city sizes, and resource endowments. By understanding how the digital economy impacts TFEE, policymakers can formulate effective policies to simultaneously accelerate digital economy development and improve TFEE.
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