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Adapt by adopting cleaner vehicles? — Evidence from a low-emission zone policy in Nanchang, China

Jingjing Ye, Zhilong Qin and Xiaoguang Chen ()

China Economic Review, 2021, vol. 66, issue C

Abstract: We study how a low-emission zone (LEZ) policy affects air pollution in Nanchang, a medium-sized city located in southeastern China. By using a regression discontinuity design approach, we find that the LEZ policy improves Nanchang's air quality throughout restricted/unrestricted hours and within/outside of the designated LEZ areas. Air quality began to improve during the announcement period and improved further after the policy was enforced. These findings suggest that drivers could adapt to the foreseen LEZ policy by upgrading their vehicles; thus, to achieve policy effectiveness, it is important to make driving regulations compatible with drivers' incentives.

Keywords: Air pollution; Driving restrictions; LEZ; Announcement effect; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L51 Q52 Q53 Q58 R48 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2021.101598

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China Economic Review is currently edited by B.M. Fleisher, K. X. D. Huang, M.E. Lovely, Y. Wen, X. Zhang and X. Zhu

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