IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jeeman/v88y2018icp468-485.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The consequences of spatially differentiated water pollution regulation in China

Author

Listed:
  • Chen, Zhao
  • Kahn, Matthew E.
  • Liu, Yu
  • Wang, Zhi

Abstract

This paper studies the consequences of China's recent water pollution regulation. We find evidence that the regulation reduces pollution-intensive activity in highly regulated areas. Relative to the locations where regulations are more stringent (downstream cities), locations where regulations are less stringent (upstream cities) attract more water-polluting activity. As polluting activity concentrates upstream, a larger proportion of the river and more poor residents are exposed to high levels of pollution.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, Zhao & Kahn, Matthew E. & Liu, Yu & Wang, Zhi, 2018. "The consequences of spatially differentiated water pollution regulation in China," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 468-485.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:88:y:2018:i:c:p:468-485
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2018.01.010
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0095069616302741
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jeem.2018.01.010?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael Greenstone & Rema Hanna, 2014. "Environmental Regulations, Air and Water Pollution, and Infant Mortality in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(10), pages 3038-3072, October.
    2. Hilary Sigman, 2002. "International Spillovers and Water Quality in Rivers: Do Countries Free Ride?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1152-1159, September.
    3. Henderson, J Vernon, 1996. "Effects of Air Quality Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 789-813, September.
    4. Wang, Hua & Wheeler, David, 2005. "Financial incentives and endogenous enforcement in China's pollution levy system," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 174-196, January.
    5. Duvivier, Chloé & Xiong, Hang, 2013. "Transboundary pollution in China: a study of polluting firms' location choices in Hebei province," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 459-483, August.
    6. Gray, Wayne B. & Shadbegian, Ronald J., 2003. "Plant vintage, technology, and environmental regulation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 384-402, November.
    7. Jiang, Liangliang & Lin, Chen & Lin, Ping, 2014. "The determinants of pollution levels: Firm-level evidence from Chinese manufacturing," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 118-142.
    8. Cai, Xiqian & Lu, Yi & Wu, Mingqin & Yu, Linhui, 2016. "Does environmental regulation drive away inbound foreign direct investment? Evidence from a quasi-natural experiment in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 73-85.
    9. 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.
    10. Simon Alder & Lin Shao & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2016. "Economic reforms and industrial policy in a panel of Chinese cities," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 305-349, December.
    11. Siqi Zheng & Matthew E. Kahn, 2013. "Understanding China's Urban Pollution Dynamics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 731-772, September.
    12. Matthew E. Kahn & Pei Li & Daxuan Zhao, 2015. "Water Pollution Progress at Borders: The Role of Changes in China's Political Promotion Incentives," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 223-242, November.
    13. Chen, Zhao & Poncet, Sandra & Xiong, Ruixiang, 2017. "Inter-industry relatedness and industrial-policy efficiency: Evidence from China’s export processing zones," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 809-826.
    14. Zeng, Dao-Zhi & Zhao, Laixun, 2009. "Pollution havens and industrial agglomeration," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 141-153, September.
    15. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2004. "Micro-foundations of urban agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 48, pages 2063-2117, Elsevier.
    16. Wayne B. Gray & Jay P. Shimshack, 2011. "The Effectiveness of Environmental Monitoring and Enforcement: A Review of the Empirical Evidence," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
    17. Avraham Ebenstein, 2012. "The Consequences of Industrialization: Evidence from Water Pollution and Digestive Cancers in China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 186-201, February.
    18. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    19. Kahn, Matthew E., 2004. "Domestic pollution havens: evidence from cancer deaths in border counties," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 51-69, July.
    20. Hongbin Cai & Qiao Liu, 2009. "Competition and Corporate Tax Avoidance: Evidence from Chinese Industrial Firms," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 764-795, April.
    21. Judith M. Dean & Mary E. Lovely & Hua Wang, 2017. "Are foreign investors attracted to weak environmental regulations? Evaluating the evidence from China," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Mary E Lovely (ed.), International Economic Integration and Domestic Performance, chapter 9, pages 155-167, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    22. Laplante, Benoit & Rilstone, Paul, 1996. "Environmental Inspections and Emissions of the Pulp and Paper Industry in Quebec," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 19-36, July.
    23. Ghanem, Dalia & Zhang, Junjie, 2014. "‘Effortless Perfection:’ Do Chinese cities manipulate air pollution data?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 203-225.
    24. Shen, Guangjun & Chen, Binkai, 2017. "Zombie firms and over-capacity in Chinese manufacturing," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 327-342.
    25. Kahn, Matthew E., 1997. "Particulate pollution trends in the United States," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 87-107, February.
    26. 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.
    27. Hering, Laura & Poncet, Sandra, 2014. "Environmental policy and exports: Evidence from Chinese cities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 296-318.
    28. Magat, Wesley A & Viscusi, W Kip, 1990. "Effectiveness of the EPA's Regulatory Enforcement: The Case of Industrial Effluent Standards," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 331-360, October.
    29. Ruixue Jia & Masayuki Kudamatsu & David Seim, 2015. "Political Selection In China: The Complementary Roles Of Connections And Performance," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 631-668, August.
    30. Shimshack, Jay P. & Ward, Michael B., 2008. "Enforcement and over-compliance," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 90-105, January.
    31. Iris Claus & Les Oxley & Siqi Zheng & Cong Sun & Ye Qi & Matthew E. Kahn, 2014. "The Evolving Geography Of China'S Industrial Production: Implications For Pollution Dynamics And Urban Quality Of Life," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 709-724, September.
    32. Lopamudra Chakraborti & Kenneth E. McConnell, 2012. "Does Ambient Water Quality Affect the Stringency of Regulations? Plant-Level Evidence of the Clean Water Act," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 88(3), pages 518-535.
    33. Cai, Hongbin & Chen, Yuyu & Gong, Qing, 2016. "Polluting thy neighbor: Unintended consequences of China׳s pollution reduction mandates," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 86-104.
    34. Haakon Vennemo & Kristin Aunan & Henrik Lindhjem & Hans Martin Seip, 2009. "Environmental Pollution in China: Status and Trends," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(2), pages 209-230, Summer.
    35. Michael Greenstone, 2002. "The Impacts of Environmental Regulations on Industrial Activity: Evidence from the 1970 and 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments and the Census of Manufactures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1175-1219, December.
    36. Wang, Jin, 2013. "The economic impact of Special Economic Zones: Evidence from Chinese municipalities," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 133-147.
    37. Chen, Ying & Henderson, J. Vernon & Cai, Wei, 2017. "Political favoritism in China’s capital markets and its effect on city sizes," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 69-87.
    38. Li, Hongbin & Zhou, Li-An, 2005. "Political turnover and economic performance: the incentive role of personnel control in China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1743-1762, September.
    39. Chakraborti, Lopamudra, 2016. "Do plants’ emissions respond to ambient environmental quality? Evidence from the clean water act," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 55-69.
    40. Shadbegian, Ronald & Wolverton, Ann, 2010. "Location Decisions of U.S. Polluting Plants: Theory, Empirical Evidence, and Consequences," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 4(1), pages 1-49, June.
    41. Wu, Haoyi & Guo, Huanxiu & Zhang, Bing & Bu, Maoliang, 2017. "Westward movement of new polluting firms in China: Pollution reduction mandates and location choice," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 119-138.
    42. Kahn, Matthew E. & Mansur, Erin T., 2013. "Do local energy prices and regulation affect the geographic concentration of employment?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 105-114.
    43. Rassier, Dylan G. & Earnhart, Dietrich, 2015. "Effects of environmental regulation on actual and expected profitability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 129-140.
    44. Selden Thomas M. & Song Daqing, 1995. "Neoclassical Growth, the J Curve for Abatement, and the Inverted U Curve for Pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 162-168, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Li, Jing & Shi, Xing & Wu, Huaqing & Liu, Liwen, 2020. "Trade-off between economic development and environmental governance in China: An analysis based on the effect of river chief system," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    2. Xu, Yuan & Wu, Yanrui & Shi, Yongli, 2021. "Emission reduction and foreign direct investment nexus in China," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    3. Zhihua Tian & Yanfang Tian & Yang Chen & Shuai Shao, 2020. "The economic consequences of environmental regulation in China: From a perspective of the environmental protection admonishing talk policy," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 1723-1733, May.
    4. Iris Claus & Les Oxley & Siqi Zheng & Cong Sun & Ye Qi & Matthew E. Kahn, 2014. "The Evolving Geography Of China'S Industrial Production: Implications For Pollution Dynamics And Urban Quality Of Life," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 709-724, September.
    5. Kahn, Matthew E. & Walsh, Randall, 2015. "Cities and the Environment," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 405-465, Elsevier.
    6. Thomas Stoerk, 2017. "Compliance, Efficiency and Instrument Choice: Evidence from air pollution control in China," GRI Working Papers 273, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    7. Shi, Xinzheng & Xu, Zhufeng, 2018. "Environmental regulation and firm exports: Evidence from the eleventh Five-Year Plan in China," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 187-200.
    8. Jota Ishikawa & Toshihiro Okubo, 2017. "Greenhouse-Gas Emission Controls and Firm Locations in North–South Trade," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 67(4), pages 637-660, August.
    9. Maximilian Auffhammer & Weizeng Sun & Jianfeng Wu & Siqi Zheng, 2016. "The Decomposition And Dynamics Of Industrial Carbon Dioxide Emissions For 287 Chinese Cities In 1998–2009," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 460-481, July.
    10. Matthew E. Kahn & Pei Li & Daxuan Zhao, 2013. "Pollution Control Effort at China's River Borders: When Does Free Riding Cease?," NBER Working Papers 19620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Liu, Mengdi & Tan, Ruipeng & Zhang, Bing, 2021. "The costs of “blue sky”: Environmental regulation, technology upgrading, and labor demand in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    12. Yuping Deng & Yanrui Wu & Helian Xu, 2020. "Political Connections and Firm Pollution Behaviour: An Empirical Study," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 75(4), pages 867-898, April.
    13. Mengdi Liu & Bing Zhang & Qiang Geng, 2018. "Corporate pollution control strategies and labor demand: evidence from China’s manufacturing sector," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 53(3), pages 298-326, June.
    14. Mathilde Maurel & Thomas Pernet & Zhao Ruili, 2019. "Financial Dependencies, Environmental Regulation, and Pollution Intensity: Evidence From China," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 19029, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    15. Wu, Haoyi & Guo, Huanxiu & Zhang, Bing & Bu, Maoliang, 2017. "Westward movement of new polluting firms in China: Pollution reduction mandates and location choice," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 119-138.
    16. Mathilde Maurel & Thomas Pernet & Zhao Ruili, 2019. "Financial Dependencies, Environmental Regulation and Pollution Intensity: Evidence From China," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-02423350, HAL.
    17. Francesco Vona & Giovanni Marin & Davide Consoli & David Popp, 2015. "Green Skills," Working Papers 2015.72, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    18. Wu, Mingqin & Cao, Xun, 2021. "Greening the career incentive structure for local officials in China: Does less pollution increase the chances of promotion for Chinese local leaders?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 107(C).
    19. Mathilde Maurel & Thomas Pernet & Zhao Ruili, 2019. "Financial Dependencies, Environmental Regulation and Pollution Intensity: Evidence From China," Post-Print halshs-02423350, HAL.
    20. Antoine Dechezleprêtre & Misato Sato, 2017. "The Impacts of Environmental Regulations on Competitiveness," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(2), pages 183-206.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Water pollution regulation; Firm production; Domestic pollution havens; China;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:88:y:2018:i:c:p:468-485. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.