Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1795856
 
 

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The Promise of Beijing: Evaluating the Impact of the 2008 Olympic Games on Air Quality


Yuyu Chen


Peking University - Guang Hua School of Management

Ginger Zhe Jin


University of Maryland - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Naresh Kumar


University of Miami

Guang Shi


Development Research Center (DRC) of the State Council

March 2011

NBER Working Paper No. w16907

Abstract:     
To prepare for the 2008 Olympic Games, China adopted a number of radical measures to improve air quality. Using officially reported air pollution index (API) from 2000 to 2009, we show that these measures improved the API of Beijing during and after the Games, but 60% of the effect faded away by the end of October 2009. Since the credibility of API data has been questioned, an objective and indirect measure of air quality at a high spatial resolution – aerosol optimal depth (AOD), derived using the data from the NASA satellites – was analyzed and compared with the API trend. The analysis confirms that the improvement was real but temporary and most improvement was attributable to plant closure and traffic control. Our results suggest that it is possible to achieve real environmental improvement in an authoritarian regime but the magnitude of the effect and how long it lasts depend on the political motivation behind the policy interventions.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 51

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Date posted: March 28, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Chen, Yuyu and Jin, Ginger Zhe and Kumar, Naresh and Shi, Guang, The Promise of Beijing: Evaluating the Impact of the 2008 Olympic Games on Air Quality (March 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w16907. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1795856

Contact Information

Yuyu Chen (Contact Author)
Peking University - Guang Hua School of Management ( email )
Peking University
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China
Ginger Zhe Jin
University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )
College Park, MD 20742
United States
301-405-3484 (Phone)
301-405-3542 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Naresh Kumar
University of Miami ( email )
1425 NW 10 Ave, Suite 308
Epidemiology and Public Health
Coral Gables, FL 33136
United States
305-243-4854 (Phone)
305-243-5577 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://eph.ccs.miami.edu
Guang Shi
Development Research Center (DRC) of the State Council ( email )
No. 225, Chaoyangmen Nei Dahie
Dongcheng District
Beijing, 100010
China
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