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Can Government Communication Facilitate Policy Understanding Toward Energy Conservation? Evidence from an Old Industrial Base in China

Rui Mu (), Yan Li () and Yan Fu ()
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Rui Mu: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China
Yan Li: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China
Yan Fu: Liaoning Productivity Promotion Center, Shenyang 110015, China

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 9, 1-15

Abstract: Policy understanding toward energy conservation is fundamental for voluntary energy-saving activities in the industrial sector. To increase policy understanding, government communication has been regarded as a means of helping enterprises to recognize, learn, and interpret energy conservation policies. This article builds up a conceptual framework for government communication and policy understanding. In the conceptual framework, the authors distinguish three dimensions (prior consultation, policy marketing, and policy training) of government communication, and make a distinction between subjective and objective policy understanding. The role of government communication in facilitating policy understanding is empirically tested in the field of energy-saving in China. The article finds that prior consultation and policy training have significant positive influence on policy understanding, and the effect of policy training is slightly larger than that of prior consultation. However, policy marketing does not show any significant impact on policy understanding. In particular, the role of prior consultation lies in promoting subjective policy understanding, while the function of policy training is to improve objective policy understanding. These findings have important implications for the government to carry out energy conservation. The article ends up with some practical policy recommendations.

Keywords: government communication; policy understanding; energy conservation; Liaoning; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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