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Pollution control and foreign firms’ exit behavior in China

Theresa Greaney, Yao Li and Dongmei Tu

Journal of Asian Economics, 2017, vol. 48, issue C, 148-159

Abstract: China faces a common dilemma of how to maintain rapid economic growth while also reducing the pollution that has accompanied growth. Will stricter pollution controls drive away the foreign firms that have helped spur growth in China? This paper studies the effects of the Two-Control-Zone (TCZ) pollution control policy on foreign firms’ exit behavior in China. Based on firm-level data from 1998 to 2009, we find that foreign firms’ responses are not significantly different from domestic firms on average once environmental regulations impose an added cost of business. However, foreign firms’ responses to stricter pollution controls tend to differ based on various firm characteristics. Our estimation indicates that larger size, higher productivity and exporting all make foreign firms less likely to exit than similar domestic firms in regions with stricter pollution control.

Keywords: Foreign direct investment; Pollution control; Firm exiting; Export (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F18 F23 L25 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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