In response to rapidly growing energy demands, Chinese authorities plan to invest more in hydropower development. However, there are concerns about the possible effects on macroeconomy. This paper uses SinoTERM, a dynamic multi-regional computable general equilibrium model (CGE) of the Chinese economy, to analyze the economic impact of large hydropower development projects. The model features regional labor market dynamics and an electricity subdivision module with substitutability between various types of electricity generation. The results suggest that hydropower development will boost economic growth in the project region. Most sectors in the project region will benefit from the hydropower development such as other services, health, and education, while some sectors will suffer a loss in output because of the substantial increase in real wages. For the national, every 10,000 yuan investment can drive the national GDP growth of 1,000 yuan, and the cost is expected to be recovered in ten years. By the end of 2040, the real national wage will be around 0.16% higher than the baseline scenario. The project could only be justified if net environmental benefits outweigh this loss.

  • This paper used the SinoTERM model to assess the regional and national economic impacts of a large hydropower development project.

  • This model came true dynamic linkages and year-by-year adjustments, could simulate a long-time costs and benefits associated with dam development have.

This content is only available as a PDF.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY 4.0), which permits copying, adaptation and redistribution, provided the original work is properly cited (

Supplementary data