Can Technology Solve the Principal-Agent Problem? Evidence from China’s War on Air Pollution
Michael Greenstone (),
Ruixue Jia and
No 27502, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc
We examine the introduction of automatic air pollution monitoring, which is a central feature of China’s “war on pollution.” Exploiting 654 regression discontinuity designs based on city-level variation in the day that monitoring was automated, we find that reported PM 10 concentrations increased by 35% immediately post–automation and were sustained. City-level variation in underreporting is negatively correlated with income per capita and positively correlated with true pre-automation PM 10 concentrations. Further, automation’s introduction increased online searches for face masks and air filters, suggesting that the biased and imperfect pre-automation information imposed welfare costs by leading to suboptimal purchases of protective goods.
JEL-codes: Q53 Q55 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cna, nep-ene, nep-env and nep-tra
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at http://www.nber.org/wwphelp.html. Free access is also available to older working papers.
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:27502
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
The price is Paper copy available by mail.
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().