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Policy effect of the Clean Air Action on green development in Chinese cities

Lin, Boqiang, Zhu, Junpeng
Journal of environmental management 2020 v.258 pp. 110036
air, air pollution, cities, issues and policy, pollution control
The Clean Air Action is considered an important measure to control air pollution. Despite extensive studies on the benefits or the cost of the Clean Air Action, the overall effect of such an action on green development is largely unknown. This paper tries to fill this gap. Based on panel data of 278 Chinese cities, this paper begins with the construction of a comprehensive indicator, namely green production efficiency, to reflect the green development over the period 2011 to 2016, we then implement the quasi-difference-in-differences framework to identify the policy effect of the Clean Air Action on green development. The following findings are obtained: (1) The Clean Air Action has enhanced the green development of Chinese cities, especially in areas with relatively high reduction target and rich resource endowment; (2) The dynamic analysis reveals that the positive effect of the Clean Air Action on green development presents an intensifying trend with time. This paper provides new insights to understand the Clean Air Action, based on these findings, we propose that future policies should focus on the transformation of overall green development and take full account of regional heterogeneity.