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Has the anti-corruption campaign decreased air pollution in China?

Mengling Zhou, Bing Wang and Zhongfei Chen

Energy Economics, 2020, vol. 91, issue C

Abstract: Few studies have estimated the contribution made by anti-corruption to air pollution levels. Using city-level data for the period from 2009 to 2016, this paper analyzes the effects of China's 2013 anti-corruption campaign on air pollution levels. The anti-corruption campaign being implemented by the Chinese government since 2013 is treated as an exogenous policy shock, and a multi-period difference in differences model is used to examine the effects of the campaign on air pollution levels. This study further conducts mechanism analysis from two aspects: environmental regulation and economic development to illustrate the potential mechanism of the effects of the anti-corruption campaign on air pollution. Our results indicate that the anti-corruption campaign has reduced air pollution by 20.3% and that this pollution-reduction effect of anti-corruption is heterogeneous in terms of urban resource attribute and geographical difference. The mechanism analysis also suggests that this pollution reduction effect could be achieved partially through the increased intensity of environmental regulations and the increase in economic development.

Keywords: Anti-corruption campaign; Air pollution; Environmental regulation; Multi-period difference in differences; Economic growth; Heterogeneity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2020.104878

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Energy Economics is currently edited by R. S. J. Tol, Beng Ang, Lance Bachmeier, Perry Sadorsky, Ugur Soytas and J. P. Weyant

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