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Strategic Interactions in Environmental Regulation Enforcement: Evidence fromChinese Provinces


  • Mary-Françoise RENARD

    () (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International(CERDI))

  • Hang XIONG



This paper studies whether Chinese provinces set strategically their environmental stringency when faced with interprovincial competition for mobile capital. Using Chinese provincial data and spatial panel econometric models, we find that Chinese provinces do engage in this kind of strategic interaction, particularly among those with similar industrial structure. Furthermore, we haven’t found evidence of asymmetric responsiveness suggested by the race to the bottom theory. Finally, the one-sided fiscal decentralization is likely to strengthen the strategic behavior. These empirical results call for a skeptical attitude towards China’s decentralization of environment policy implementation as well as its fiscal arrangements.

Suggested Citation

  • Mary-Françoise RENARD & Hang XIONG, 2012. "Strategic Interactions in Environmental Regulation Enforcement: Evidence fromChinese Provinces," Working Papers 201207, CERDI.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdi:wpaper:1327

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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: International Economic Integration and Domestic Performance, chapter 9, pages 155-167 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Brueckner, Jan K. & Saavedra, Luz A., 2001. "Do Local Governments Engage in Strategic Property-Tax Competition?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(2), pages 203-230, June.
    3. Anselin, Luc & Bera, Anil K. & Florax, Raymond & Yoon, Mann J., 1996. "Simple diagnostic tests for spatial dependence," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 77-104, February.
    4. Dasgupta, Susmita & Laplante, Benoit & Mamingi, Nlandu & Wang, Hua, 2001. "Inspections, pollution prices, and environmental performance: evidence from China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 487-498, March.
    5. Case, Anne C. & Rosen, Harvey S. & Hines, James Jr., 1993. "Budget spillovers and fiscal policy interdependence : Evidence from the states," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 285-307, October.
    6. Dijkstra, Bouwe R., 2003. "Direct regulation of a mobile polluting firm," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 265-277, March.
    7. Zuzana Brixiova & Margaret H. Morgan & Andreas Wörgötter, 2010. "On The Road to Euro: How Synchronized Is Estonia with the Euro zone?," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 7(1), pages 203-227, June.
    8. Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J. R., 2003. "Determining the trade-environment composition effect: the role of capital, labor and environmental regulations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 363-383, November.
    9. Jan K. Brueckner, 2003. "Strategic Interaction Among Governments: An Overview of Empirical Studies," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 26(2), pages 175-188, April.
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    More about this item


    China; Strategic interaction; Pollution; Spatial panel;

    JEL classification:

    • C2 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • R5 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis

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