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Does central supervision enhance local environmental enforcement? Quasi-experimental evidence from China

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  • Zhang, Bing
  • Chen, Xiaolan
  • Guo, Huanxiu

Abstract

This paper draws on a natural experiment generated by the National Specially Monitored Firms (NSMF) program in China to evaluate the effectiveness of central supervision at improving local environmental enforcement. We explore a unique firm-level Chinese Environmental Statistics dataset and utilize a regression discontinuity design to assess the impact of central supervision through the NSMF program on an industrial firm's chemical oxygen demand (COD) emissions. The results suggest that central supervision significantly reduces industrial COD emissions by at least 26.8%. These results highlight the substantial room for improvement in Chinese environmental regulations via central supervision. A more flexible environmental decentralization regime and comprehensive central supervision are thus recommended for future reforms.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Bing & Chen, Xiaolan & Guo, Huanxiu, 2018. "Does central supervision enhance local environmental enforcement? Quasi-experimental evidence from China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 70-90.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:164:y:2018:i:c:p:70-90
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2018.05.009
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    Cited by:

    1. Jóna, György, 2020. "Versengő együttműködés versus összejátszás, avagy hálózati szintű csalás? [Coopetition versus collusion, or fraud at network level?]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(2), pages 164-180.
    2. 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.
    3. Panle Jia Barwick & Shanjun Li & Liguo Lin & Eric Zou, 2019. "From Fog to Smog: the Value of Pollution Information," NBER Working Papers 26541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Youliang Jin & Chen Cheng & Huixiang Zeng, 2020. "Is evil rewarded with evil? The market penalty effect of corporate environmentally irresponsible events," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(3), pages 846-871, March.
    5. Villamizar-Villegas, Mauricio & Pinzón-Puerto, Freddy A. & Ruiz-Sánchez, María Alejandra, 2020. "A Comprehensive History of Regression Discontinuity Designs: An Empirical Survey of the last 60 Years," Working papers 38, Red Investigadores de Economía.
    6. Haichao Fan & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Zonglai Kou & Xueyue Liu & Huanhuan Wang, 2019. "Going Green in China: Firms’ Responses to Stricter Environmental Regulations," NBER Working Papers 26540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Pedro Naso, 2019. "Environmental Regulation in a Transitional Political System: Delegation of Regulation and Perceived Corruption in South Africa," CIES Research Paper series 59-2019, Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute.
    8. Fang Xu & Meng Tian & Jie Yang & Guohu Xu, 2020. "Does Environmental Inspection Led by the Central Government Improve the Air Quality in China? The Moderating Role of Public Engagement," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(8), pages 1-1, April.
    9. Yunpeng Yang & Weixin Yang, 2019. "Does Whistleblowing Work for Air Pollution Control in China? A Study Based on Three-party Evolutionary Game Model under Incomplete Information," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(2), pages 1-1, January.
    10. Zhang, Dongyang & Zheng, Wenping, 2019. "Less financial constraints, more clean production? New evidence from China," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 80-83.
    11. Cheng, Shulei & Fan, Wei & Chen, Jiandong & Meng, Fanxin & Liu, Gengyuan & Song, Malin & Yang, Zhifeng, 2020. "The impact of fiscal decentralization on CO2 emissions in China," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 192(C).
    12. Jia Xu & Jiuchang Wei & Haipeng (Allan) Chen, 2019. "Strategic responses of stigmatized Chinese manufacturing firms to formal and informal environmental regulative pressures through enhanced corporate social responsibility effort," Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 26(6), pages 1235-1260, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental federalism; Central supervision; Water pollution; Regression discontinuity design; China;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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