No Trade, No Killing——An Evaluation of China's Ivory Ban on Elephant Poaching

22 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2024

See all articles by Tie Shi

Tie Shi

Jiaxing University

Junbing Xu

Minjiang University

Mingming Zhou

Jiaxing University


The debate on whether legalization or prohibition is more effective in conserving species and curbing illicit black-market trade remains controversial, with insufficient evidence available. Here we investigate the effects of China’s ivory ban on elephant poaching. We find that the enaction of the total ivory ban corresponds with a sharp 50% decrease in poaching and a significant reduction of the number of seizure cases. Further, although China has taken restrictive measures in 2015 and signaled a total ivory ban in 2016, no occurrence of “last minute rush” in smuggling activity was found preceding the implementation of the ivory ban.

Keywords: ivory ban, CTIES, poaching, species conservation

Suggested Citation

Shi, Tie and Xu, Junbing and Zhou, Mingming, No Trade, No Killing——An Evaluation of China's Ivory Ban on Elephant Poaching. Available at SSRN: or

Tie Shi

Jiaxing University ( email )


Junbing Xu (Contact Author)

Minjiang University ( email )

1 Wenxian Rd
Minhou, Fuzhou

Mingming Zhou

Jiaxing University

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics