China’s War on Pollution: Evidence from the First Five Years

30 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2021 Last revised: 4 Jun 2021

See all articles by Michael Greenstone

Michael Greenstone

University of Chicago - Department of Economics; Becker Friedman Institute for Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Guojun He

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Shanjun Li

Cornell University - School of Applied Economics and Management

Eric Zou

University of Oregon

Date Written: January 12, 2021

Abstract

The decade from 2010 to 2019 marked a significant turning point in China’s history of environmental regulation and pollution. This article describes the recent trends in air and water quality, with a focus on the five years since China declared a “war on pollution” in 2014. It summarizes the emerging literature that has taken advantage of accompanying improvements in data availability and accuracy to document sharp improvements in environmental quality, especially local air pollution, and understand their social, economic, and health consequences.

Keywords: air pollution, water pollution, government policy

JEL Classification: Q50, Q53, Q56

Suggested Citation

Greenstone, Michael and He, Guojun and Li, Shanjun and Zou, Eric, China’s War on Pollution: Evidence from the First Five Years (January 12, 2021). HKUST Business School Research Paper No. 2021-004, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3764874 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3764874

Michael Greenstone

University of Chicago - Department of Economics

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Becker Friedman Institute for Economics ( email )

Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Guojun He

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology ( email )

Division of Social Science
HKUST
Clear Water Bay, Kowloon
Hong Kong

Shanjun Li (Contact Author)

Cornell University - School of Applied Economics and Management ( email )

248 Warren Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Eric Zou

University of Oregon ( email )

1280 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403
United States

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