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Incentives and Outcomes: China's Environmental Policy

Author

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  • Jing Wu
  • Yongheng Deng
  • Jun Huang
  • Randall Morck
  • Bernard Yeung

Abstract

In generating fast economic growth, China is also generating growing concern about its environmental record. Using 2000-2009 data, we find that, while spending on environmental infrastructure has visible positive environmental impact, city spending is strongly tilted towards transportation infrastructure. Investment in transportation infrastructure correlates strongly with both real GDP growth, a measure of tangible economic growth relevant to city-level Party and government cadres' promotion odds, and with land prices, which affect city governments' revenues from land lease sales. In contrast, city governments' spending on environmental improvements is at best uncorrelated with cadres' promotion odds, and is uncorrelated with local GDP growth and land prices. These findings suggest that, were environmental quality explicitly linked to a cadre's chance of promotion, or were environmental quality to affect land prices substantially, city-level public investment in environmental improvement would rise.

Suggested Citation

  • Jing Wu & Yongheng Deng & Jun Huang & Randall Morck & Bernard Yeung, 2013. "Incentives and Outcomes: China's Environmental Policy," NBER Working Papers 18754, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18754 Note: CF EEE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sun, Sunny Li & Peng, Mike W. & Lee, Ruby P. & Tan, Weiqiang, 2015. "Institutional open access at home and outward internationalization," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 234-246.
    2. Kostka, Genia, 2014. "Barriers to the implementation of environmental policies at the local level in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7016, The World Bank.
    3. Pedro Naso Author name: Tim Swanson, 2017. "How Does Environmental Regulation Shape Economic Development? A Tax Competition Model of China," CIES Research Paper series 54-2017, Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute.
    4. Yu, Jihai & Zhou, Li-An & Zhu, Guozhong, 2016. "Strategic interaction in political competition: Evidence from spatial effects across Chinese cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 23-37.
    5. Zhang, Kun & Zhang, Zong-Yong & Liang, Qiao-Mei, 2017. "An empirical analysis of the green paradox in China: From the perspective of fiscal decentralization," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 203-211.
    6. Zheng, Siqi & Kahn, Matthew E. & Sun, Weizeng & Luo, Danglun, 2014. "Incentives for China's urban mayors to mitigate pollution externalities: The role of the central government and public environmentalism," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 61-71.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G0 - Financial Economics - - General
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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