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The determinants of Government environmental performance - an empirical analysis of Chinese townships

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  • Hua Wang
  • Wenhua Di

Abstract

This paper explores the determinants of government environmental performance at the local level. Chinese township governments, the lowest level in the hierarchical government structure, were selected for this exercise. The performance indicators used in the analyses include the efforts of enforcing government environmental regulations and of providing environmental services to polluting enterprises. The performance determinants identified include environmental performance of upper-level governments, local development status, industrial employment, income of workers in polluting enterprises, local environmental quality, and public pressure for environmental quality improvement. A survey of 85 townships and interviews of 151 township government leaders were conducted in three provinces of China. The statistical results show that: a) The environmental performance of upper-level governments in China strongly and positively influences the environmental efforts of the township governments. b) Public pressure has created incentives for the township governments to improve their efforts in both enforcing environmental regulations and providing environmental services, while the environmental quality did not show significant impacts. c) Higher employment in industries tends to have a negative influence on the regulatory enforcement, but a positive influence on environmental service provision. d) A higher enforcement effort and a lower service provision are associated with higher wages the workers received from industries. This implies that the industries offering higher wages to the workers are subject to more stringent environmental enforcement but receive less environmental services. 5) Richer townships tend to have less regulatory enforcement but better environmental services.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2937.

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Date of creation: 31 Dec 2002
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2937

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Keywords: Banks&Banking Reform; Decentralization; National Governance; Environmental Economics&Policies; Municipal Financial Management; Environmental Economics&Policies; National Governance; Environmental Governance; Banks&Banking Reform; Municipal Financial Management;

References

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  1. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
  3. Hua Wang & Yanhong Jin, 2007. "Industrial Ownership and Environmental Performance: Evidence from China," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 36(3), pages 255-273, March.
  4. Helland, Eric, 1998. "The Revealed Preferences of State EPAs: Stringency, Enforcement, and Substitution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 242-261, May.
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  7. Schneider, Friedrich & Volkert, Juergen, 1999. "No chance for incentive-oriented environmental policies in representative democracies? A Public Choice analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 123-138, October.
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  11. Yingyi Qian & Gerard Roland, . "Federalism and the Soft Budget Constraint," Working Papers 97045, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  12. Roger Congleton, 2004. "The Political Economy of Gordon Tullock," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 121(1), pages 213-238, October.
  13. Fredriksson, Per G & Gaston, Noel, 2000. "Environmental Governance in Federal Systems: The Effects of Capital Competition and Lobby Groups," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(3), pages 501-14, July.
  14. Cropper, Maureen L. & William N. Evans & Stephen J. Berard & Maria M. Ducla-Soares & Paul R. Portney, 1992. "The Determinants of Pesticide Regulation: A Statistical Analysis of EPA Decision Making," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 175-97, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Ruperta Lichtenecker, 2006. "Umwelttechnikindustrie - Zukunftsmarkt China," Economics working papers 2006-01, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.

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