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