Pollution for Promotion

42 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2017 Last revised: 14 Feb 2018

See all articles by Ruixue Jia

Ruixue Jia

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - 21st Century China Center

Date Written: March 21, 2017


This paper provides evidence on the impact of political incentives on the environment using the case of China's pollution. Exploring variation in governors' connections with key officials in the center, I document that gaining connections increases pollution (measured by satellite and social data). I also find that connected governors increase coal-fired power production more when less precipitation makes it more difficult to rely on hydropower. These findings are consistent with the interpretation that connections affect the promotion incentives by increasing the marginal returns of pollution.

Keywords: Pollution, politics, political incentives, promotion, governance

Suggested Citation

Jia, Ruixue, Pollution for Promotion (March 21, 2017). 21st Century China Center Research Paper No. 2017-05, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3029046 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3029046

Ruixue Jia (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - 21st Century China Center ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive #0519
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

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