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The Role of Career Incentives in Environmental Regulation: Evidence from China’s Environmental One-Vote Veto Evaluation Regime

Jianxin Wu, Ziwei Feng and Chunbo Ma

No 329093, Working Papers from University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Abstract: This paper applies a difference-in-differences approach to examine the effectiveness of China’s One-Vote Veto environmental regulation regime, which links pollution reduction targets with local officials’ promotion. Using a rich set of data for 286 Chinese cities, we show that the new political incentive induced significant tradeoff between economic growth and environmental protection. The regime shifts significantly reduced industrial SO2 emissions; however, the environmental improvement was limited only to the reduction of the targeted pollutants that are linked to performance evaluation. Firm-level evidence shows that emission reduction was mainly achieved by reducing new polluting production activities, increasing pollution abatement capacity and improving abatement performance. It is also found that compliance with emissions reduction targets indeed increases the promotion chances of local officials.

Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy; Public Economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 63
Date: 2022-10-31
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ene and nep-env
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.329093

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