Gaming in Air Pollution Data? Lessons from China
Yuyu Chen, Ginger Jin, Naresh Kumar , and Guang Shi ,
( 12 )
B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Protecting the environment during economic growth is a challenge facing every country. This paper focuses on two regulatory measures that China has adopted to incentivize air quality improvement: publishing a daily air pollution index (API) for major cities since 2000 and linking the API to performance evaluations of local governments. In particular, China defines a day with an API at or below 100 as a blue sky day. Starting in 2003, a city with at least 80% blue sky days in a calendar year (among other criteria) qualified for the “national environmental protection model city” award.

Links to Researchers