Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Environmental Policy Implementation in China: Drivers of Pollution Fee Collection Across Chinese Provinces

Thursday, November 12, 2015 : 4:30 PM
Board Room (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Hongtao Yi, The Ohio State University
China’s deterioration in environmental quality calls for effective mechanisms for environmental governance. Pollution fee is policy tool used by government to control environmental pollution. In the implementation of pollution fee, there are varying degrees of performance among provincial government in executing the pollution fee collection. The research question for this study is: what determines the variations among Chinese provincial governments’ effectiveness in implementing the environmental policies, in particular pollution fees?

            The Sabatier and Mazmanian Model illustrated that the policy implementation is a function of three sets of factors: tractability of the problem, statute to structure implementation and non-statutory variables. We hypothesize that the implementation of pollution fee collection among provincial governments is affected by tractability of the policy problem, statutory conditions and non-statutory conditions. We measure and operationalize the three sets of factors using a set of variables. To operationalize “tractability of the problem”, we operationalize it by including air pollution index, fuel consumption per unit of GDP, and ratio of enterprises’ self-supported pollution abatement investment over total pollution investment. Fiscal decentralization, pollution regulation and emission reduction goal are included to measure “statute to structure implementation”. These factors also reflect the mandate designs that could help structure policy implementation patterns among provincial governments. Environmental protection management, environment-related petitions and environmental education activities are included to capture “non-statutory variables”.

            With a panel data of Chinese provincial governments’ collection of pollution impact fees from 2009 to 2013, we test the top-down implementation model using fixed effects panel regressions. Preliminary results indicate supports for the significant impacts from problem tractability, statutory variables, and non-statutory variables.