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Effects of different environmental regulations and their heterogeneity on air pollution control in China

Xueping Wu () and Ming Gao ()
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Xueping Wu: Fujian Jiangxia University
Ming Gao: Fuzhou University

Journal of Regulatory Economics, 2021, vol. 60, issue 2, No 3, 140-166

Abstract: Abstract This study endeavors to explore the impact of different environmental regulations and their heterogeneity on air pollution control in China. By employing a slacks-based measure of directional distance function model, considering undesirable outputs, the efficiency of air pollution control of China’s 30 provinces during 2001–2014 is evaluated. The estimates indicate that the efficiency of air pollution control is fluctuating, and there is obvious regional differences. By using provincial-level panel data and panel threshold models, empirical results show that: (1) There is a nonlinear relationship between environmental regulation and air pollution control efficiency, and it can be positively correlated, but it is constrained by the stringency of regulation: there is a single threshold for formal (command-and-control (CAC) and market-based) regulation, while there is a double threshold for informal regulation. (2) Different environmental regulations have different governance effects. Compared with CAC regulation, market regulation can attract more attention of enterprises. (3) It may be ineffective to expect informal regulation to improve the air pollution control efficiency. Therefore, in order to achieve real sustainable development, the government should set up reasonable regulation stringency and optimize the combination of regulation tools.

Keywords: Environmental regulation; Air pollution control; China; Panel threshold model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H23 O13 Q53 Q58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s11149-021-09436-1

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