Citizen Participation and Government Accountability:National-Scale Experimental Evidence from Pollution Appeals in China

主讲人: Shaoda Wang

Prof. Shaoda Wang is an Assistant Professor from Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago. He got Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics, from UC Berkeley in 2019. His research interests include Development Economics, Political Economy, Environmental Economics.

主持人: Wenzhuo Lu

This paper reports a national-scale field experiment on how citizen participation affects government accountability in the context of China’s environmental regulation enforcement. Using data publicized by the country’s Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (CEMS), we identify in real-time polluting firms that are violating the national emission standards, and randomly intervene by making differentiated appeals against such violations. We find that privately informing (or appealing to) the government about pollution violations has limited impact, while publicly appealing to the government on social media significantly improves environmental regulation enforcement: the firm is 50% less likely to engage in future pollution violations, and reduces its average air and water emission concentrations by 8-10%. Exploiting additional features of our experimental design, we further examine why making the appeals public is key to improving accountability: public pressure not only incentivizes the government to enforce regulation, but also serves as a “leverage” to help the government ensure that firms comply with regulation. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that encouraging citizen participation could lead to significant improvements in China’s aggregate environmental quality.

时间: 2021-05-17(Monday)16:40-18:00
地点: Room N302, Economics Building
主办单位: 厦门大学经济学院、王亚南经济研究院
类型: 系列讲座