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How the Chinese system of charges and subsidies affects pollution control efforts by China's top industrial polluters

  • Hua Wang
  • Ming Chen
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There have been extensive theoretical studies of firms'responses to environmental regulations ad enforcement but few empirical analyses of firms'expenditures on pollution abatement in response to different regulations and enforcement strategies. The authors empirically analyze the pollution abatement efforts of Chinese industrial firms under a system combining pollution charges and abatement subsidies. Using data on China's top industrial polluters and on regional development in China, they find that the combination of charges and subsidies used in china has provided effective incentives for the most heavily polluting industrial firms to abate pollution. Chinese industries operate under a unique pollution control system, a market-based instrument combining emissions charges and abatement subsidies. This combination of charges and subsidies has given firms incentive to invest in wastewater treatment facilities. The pollution levy, although low, has significantly improved investments in abatement. The authors found that the more pollution a firm generates, the more likely it is to invest in pollution abatement. This study was only of top polluters, which are closely monitored by environmental agencies, so the results may not be valid for other sources of industrial pollution.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2198.

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Date of creation: 31 Oct 1999
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2198
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  1. Pargal, Sheoli & Wheeler, David, 1996. "Informal Regulation of Industrial Pollution in Developing Countries: Evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1314-27, December.
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