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Environmental performance rating and disclosure - China's green-watch program

  • Hua Wang
  • Jun Bi
  • Wheeler, David
  • Jinnan Wang
  • Dong Cao
  • Genfa Lu
  • Yuan Wang
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This paper describes a new incentive-based pollution control program in China in which the environmental performance of firms is rated and reported to the public. Firms are rated from best to worst using five colors-green, blue, yellow, red, and black-and the ratings are disseminated to the public through the media. The impact has been substantial, suggesting that public disclosure provides a significant incentive for firms to improve their environmental performance. The paper focuses on the experience of the first two disclosure programs, in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province and Hohhot, Inner Mongolia. Successful implementation of these programs at two very different levels of economic and institutional development suggests that public disclosure should be feasible in most of China. The Zhenjiang and Hohhot experiences have also shown that performance disclosure can significantly reduce pollution, even in settings where environmental nongovernmental organizations are not very active and there is no formal channel for public participation in environmental regulation.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2889.

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Date of creation: 30 Sep 2002
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2889
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  1. Dasgupta, Susmita & Laplante, Benoit & Mamingi, Nlandu, 2001. "Pollution and Capital Markets in Developing Countries," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 310-335, November.
  2. Dasgupta, Susmita & Hua Wang & Wheeler, David, 1997. "Surviving success : policy reform and the future of industrial pollution in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1856, The World Bank.
  3. Blackman, Allen & Afsah, Shakeb & Ratunanda, Damayanti, 2000. "How Do Public Disclosure Pollution Control Programs Work? Evidence from Indonesia," Discussion Papers dp-00-44, Resources For the Future.
  4. Dasgupta, Susmita & Wheeler, David, 1997. "Citizen complaints as environmental indicators : evidence from China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1704, The World Bank.
  5. Foulon, Jerome & Lanoie, Paul & Laplante, Benoit, 2002. "Incentives for Pollution Control: Regulation or Information?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 169-187, July.
  6. Konar, Shameek & Cohen, Mark A., 1997. "Information As Regulation: The Effect of Community Right to Know Laws on Toxic Emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 109-124, January.
  7. Hamilton James T., 1995. "Pollution as News: Media and Stock Market Reactions to the Toxics Release Inventory Data," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 98-113, January.
  8. Dasgupta, Susmita & Hettige, Hemamala & Wheeler, David, 2000. "What Improves Environmental Compliance? Evidence from Mexican Industry," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 39-66, January.
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