School of Economics
Shanghai University of Finance and Economics
Institutional Affiliation: Shanghai University of Finance and Economics
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|December 2019||From Fog to Smog: the Value of Pollution Information|
with Panle Jia Barwick, Shanjun Li, Eric Zou: w26541
During 2013-2014, China launched a nationwide, real-time air quality monitoring and disclosure program, a watershed moment in the history of its environmental regulations. We present the first empirical analysis of this natural experiment by exploiting its staggered implementation across cities. The program has transformed the landscape of China’s environmental protection, substantially expanded public access to pollution information, and dramatically increased households’ awareness about pollution issues. These transformations, in turn, triggered a cascade of household behavioral changes, including increases in online searches for pollution-related topics, adjustments in day-to-day consumption patterns to avoid pollution exposure, and higher willingness to pay for housing in less polluted...