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Incentivizing China's Urban Mayors to Mitigate Pollution Externalities: The Role of the Central Government and Public Environmentalism

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Listed:
  • Siqi Zheng
  • Matthew E. Kahn
  • Weizeng Sun
  • Danglun Luo

Abstract

China's extremely high levels of urban air, water and greenhouse gas emissions levels pose local and global environmental challenges. China's urban leaders have substantial influence and discretion over the evolution of economic activity that generates such externalities. This paper examines the political economy of urban leaders' incentives to tackle pollution issues. Based on a principal-agent framework, we present evidence consistent with the hypothesis that both the central government and the public are placing pressure on China's urban leaders to mitigate externalities. Such "pro-green" incentives suggest that many of China's cities could enjoy significant environmental progress in the near future.

Suggested Citation

  • Siqi Zheng & Matthew E. Kahn & Weizeng Sun & Danglun Luo, 2013. "Incentivizing China's Urban Mayors to Mitigate Pollution Externalities: The Role of the Central Government and Public Environmentalism," NBER Working Papers 18872, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18872
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. My Harvard Business Review Blog Piece on China's Bullet Trains and a History of My Economic Thought About China
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2013-04-08 20:50:00
    2. Exploring Green Cities in China
      by Matthew Kahn in Urbanization Project on 2013-04-10 04:17:09
    3. My Recent Political Economy Work
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2013-05-08 05:54:00

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. You, Jing & Huang, Yongfu, 2013. "Green-to-Grey China: Determinants and Forecasts of its Green Growth," MPRA Paper 57468, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 16 Jul 2014.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • R5 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis

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