Incentivizing China's Urban Mayors to Mitigate Pollution Externalities: The Role of the Central Government and Public Environmentalism
China's extremely high levels of urban air, water and greenhouse gas emissions levels pose local and global environmental challenges. China's urban leaders have substantial influence and discretion over the evolution of economic activity that generates such externalities. This paper examines the political economy of urban leaders' incentives to tackle pollution issues. Based on a principal-agent framework, we present evidence consistent with the hypothesis that both the central government and the public are placing pressure on China's urban leaders to mitigate externalities. Such "pro-green" incentives suggest that many of China's cities could enjoy significant environmental progress in the near future.
We thank the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate for funding. Siqi Zheng and Weizeng Sun thank National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 70973065 and No. 71273154) and Tsinghua University Initiative Scientific Research Program for research support. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Danglun Luo thank National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 70902024)for research support. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Regional Science and Urban Economics Volume 47, July 2014, Pages 61–71 SI: Tribute to John Quigley Cover image Incentives for China's urban mayors to mitigate pollution externalities: The role of the central government and public environmentalism ☆ Siqi Zhenga, , Matthew E. Kahnb, , , Weizeng Suna, , Danglun Luoc,