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Is There a Pollution Haven Effect? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in China

Author

Listed:
  • Lu, Yi
  • Wu, Mingqin
  • Yu, Linhui

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate whether there is a pollution haven effect, specifically, the effect of environmental regulations on firm location. Our identification uses the Two Control Zones (TCZ) policy implemented by the Chinese government in 1998. The difference-in-differences (DID) estimation shows that cities with tougher environmental regulations attract less foreign direct investment (FDI). Specifically, being listed as a TCZ city causes the amount of FDI to drop by 41%. Our results are robust to various robustness checks on the validity of the DID estimation and other estimation concerns.

Suggested Citation

  • Lu, Yi & Wu, Mingqin & Yu, Linhui, 2012. "Is There a Pollution Haven Effect? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in China," MPRA Paper 38787, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:38787
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/38787/1/MPRA_paper_38787.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. John A. List & Daniel L. Millimet & Per G. Fredriksson & W. Warren McHone, 2003. "Effects of Environmental Regulations on Manufacturing Plant Births: Evidence from a Propensity Score Matching Estimator," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 944-952, November.
    3. List, John A. & Co, Catherine Y., 2000. "The Effects of Environmental Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-20, July.
    4. repec:wsi:wschap:9789813141094_0009 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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..
    6. Eskeland, Gunnar S. & Harrison, Ann E., 2003. "Moving to greener pastures? Multinationals and the pollution haven hypothesis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 1-23, February.
    7. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    8. 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.
    9. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    10. Henderson, J Vernon, 1996. "Effects of Air Quality Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 789-813, September.
    11. Laura Hering & Sandra Poncet, 2011. "Environmental policy and trade performance: Evidence from China," Working Papers 2011-30, CEPII research center.
    12. Daniel L. Millimet & Jayjit Roy, 2011. "Three New Empirical Tests of the Pollution Haven Hypothesis When Environmental Regulation is Endogenous," Working Papers 11-10, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
    13. Kellenberg, Derek K., 2009. "An empirical investigation of the pollution haven effect with strategic environment and trade policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 242-255, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Qiu & Maung, Min & Shi, Yulin & Wilson, Craig, 2014. "Foreign direct investment concessions and environmental levies in China," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 241-250.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pollution haven effect; Difference-in-differences estimation; Two control zones; Natural experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • 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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