The Effects of an Environmental Policy on Consumers: Lessons from the Chinese Plastic Bag Regulation
No 453, Working Papers in Economics from University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics
To reduce plastic bag litter, China introduced a nationwide regulation requiring all retailers to charge for plastic shopping bags on June 1, 2008. By using the policy implementation as a natural experiment and collecting individual-level data before and after the implementation, we investigate the impacts of the regulation on consumers’ bag use. We find that the regulation implementation caused a 49% reduction in the use of new bags. Besides regulation enforcement, consumers’ attitude toward the regulation and some consumers’ socioeconomic characteristics also affected bag consumption. However, the regulation effects differ largely among consumer groups and among regions and shopping occasions.
Keywords: China; litter; market-based policy; natural experiment; plastic bag (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q53 Q58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 36 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-env, nep-reg and nep-res
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