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Is There a Pollution Haven Effect? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in China

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  • Lu, Yi
  • Wu, Mingqin
  • Yu, Linhui

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate whether there is a pollution haven effect, specifically, the effect of environmental regulations on firm location. Our identification uses the Two Control Zones (TCZ) policy implemented by the Chinese government in 1998. The difference-in-differences (DID) estimation shows that cities with tougher environmental regulations attract less foreign direct investment (FDI). Specifically, being listed as a TCZ city causes the amount of FDI to drop by 41%. Our results are robust to various robustness checks on the validity of the DID estimation and other estimation concerns.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 38787.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:38787

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Keywords: Pollution haven effect; Difference-in-differences estimation; Two control zones; Natural experiment;

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  1. Randy Becker & Vernon Henderson, 2000. "Effects of Air Quality Regulations on Polluting Industries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 379-421, April.
  2. Eskeland, Gunnar S. & Harrison, Ann E., 2003. "Moving to greener pastures? Multinationals and the pollution haven hypothesis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 1-23, February.
  3. Kellenberg, Derek K., 2009. "An empirical investigation of the pollution haven effect with strategic environment and trade policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 242-255, July.
  4. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  5. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Henderson, J Vernon, 1996. "Effects of Air Quality Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 789-813, September.
  7. Dean, Judith M. & Lovely, Mary E. & Wang, Hua, 2009. "Are foreign investors attracted to weak environmental regulations? Evaluating the evidence from China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 1-13, September.
  8. Daniel L. Millimet & Jayjit Roy, 2011. "Three New Empirical Tests of the Pollution Haven Hypothesis When Environmental Regulation is Endogenous," Working Papers 11-10, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  9. Wolfgang Keller & Arik Levinson, 2002. "Pollution Abatement Costs and Foreign Direct Investment Inflows to U.S. States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 691-703, November.
  10. List, John A. & Co, Catherine Y., 2000. "The Effects of Environmental Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-20, July.
  11. John A. List & Daniel L. Millimet & Per G. Fredriksson & W. Warren McHone, 2003. "Effects of Environmental Regulations on Manufacturing Plant Births: Evidence from a Propensity Score Matching Estimator," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 944-952, November.
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