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More incentive, less pollution: The influence of official appraisal system reform on environmental enforcement

Jin Guan, Dongwei He and Qigui Zhu

Resource and Energy Economics, 2022, vol. 67, issue C

Abstract: This paper sheds light on the effectiveness of a target-based performance evaluation system (TPES) on strenghening local environmental enforcement in China. We conduct a difference-in-differences (DiD) specification and then exploit unique firm-level data to examine whether the TPES reform facilitates SO2 reductions in local firms. The results indicate that SO2 emissions from local polluting firms have been significantly reduced both in extensive and intensive margins. We also find that local environmental enforcement has been comprehensively enhanced across industries and larger private and joint-equity firms are relatively more regulated. Furthermore, local firms respond to this reform mainly by using the end-of-pipe treatment and upgrading the much cleaner production process rather than reducing the production over the period.

Keywords: Official appraisal system; Environmental enforcement; Emission reduction; DiD model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C90 G18 H77 Q51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.reseneeco.2021.101283

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