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Regulation and innovation: Examining outcomes in Chinese pollution control policy areas

Liqun Zhuge, Richard Freeman () and Matthew T. Higgins

Economic Modelling, 2020, vol. 89, issue C, 19-31

Abstract: In this paper, we examine how two regionally implemented environmental initiatives in China have impacted the innovation ability of Chinese-listed firms. The regional implementation of these policies, with non-policy regions serving as controls, offers researchers the perfect conditions for a natural experiment. Using research and development (R&D) expenditures and patents as a proxy for innovativeness, we compare the record of innovation of firms inside the policy zones with firms outside the policy zones. We use a Difference-In-Difference-In-Differences (DIDID) method to eliminate endogeneity and take the quality of the patents into account by incorporating sub-items. Results show only one of the regulations had a positive effect and that low quality patents account for most of the innovation. We conclude that reasonably designed environmental regulations, when implemented regionally in competitive industries, do improve Chinese firms' innovation ability in line with the Porter Hypothesis. The results help us derive some useful policy implications regarding innovation.

Keywords: Environmental regulations; Innovation; Porter hypothesis; Difference-in-difference-in-differences estimation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O32 Q52 Q58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:89:y:2020:i:c:p:19-31

DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2019.09.041

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