Incentivizing China's Urban Mayors to Mitigate Pollution Externalities: The Role of the Central Government and Public Environmentalism

38 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2013 Last revised: 19 Sep 2014

See all articles by Siqi Zheng

Siqi Zheng

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Urban Studies & Planning

Siqi Zheng

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Center for Real Estate; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Urban Studies & Planning; Hang Lung Center for Real Estate, Tsinghua University

Matthew E. Kahn

University of Southern California; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Weizeng Sun

Tsinghua University

Danglun Luo

Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU)

Date Written: March 2013

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Zheng, Siqi and Zheng, Siqi and Kahn, Matthew E. and Sun, Weizeng and Luo, Danglun, Incentivizing China's Urban Mayors to Mitigate Pollution Externalities: The Role of the Central Government and Public Environmentalism (March 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w18872. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2230762

Siqi Zheng (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Urban Studies & Planning ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

Siqi Zheng

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Center for Real Estate ( email )

Building 9-323
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://siqizheng.mit.edu/

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Urban Studies & Planning ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

Hang Lung Center for Real Estate, Tsinghua University ( email )

HeShanHeng Building
Beijing, 100084
China

HOME PAGE: http://https://siqizheng.mit.edu/

Matthew E. Kahn

University of Southern California ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Weizeng Sun

Tsinghua University ( email )

No Address Available

Danglun Luo

Sun Yat-Sen University (SYSU) ( email )

135, Xingang Xi Road
Guangzhou, 510275

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