Innovation Session: The Correlations between Cities’ “Membership” to Regional Economic Integration Plans and Their Local Environmental Protection Bureaus’ Performance – a Structural Equation Modeling Approach

Thursday, November 8, 2018: 11:30 AM-12:15 PM
Atrium - Exhibit Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Participant:  Linlang He, University of Maryland School of Public Policy

Description of Research: There is broad consensus internationally that evidence-based performance evaluation drives better policy and policy making process, but this is easier said than done. This research provides a detailed understanding of how local environmental protection bureaus and major industrial polluters behave in China’s major cities and the institutional context in which they operate. Such findings are pre-requites for designing cost-effective governmental polices that meet both economic and environmental goals. Moreover, China’s central government recently made it obligatory to conduct mid-term evaluations for its major development plans, and stressed the value of third-party independent project evaluations. This makes my proposed study particularly timely and value-adding because, as of Year 2018, long-enough time has just passed for us to conduct a useful mid-term evaluation for the national-level city clusters development. In addition, this research has substantial impacts on public policy and industry in the following ways. For policymakers who are interested in knowing how the institutional collective action models can be used to support environmental management, this research provides a granular understanding of the channels and mechanisms along this potential causal chain, and informs the design of policies that leverages on environmental regulation and compliance assurance. For polluting firms and industry that are heavily affected by regulatory enforcement, this research can inform on the urgency to stay compliant and avoid violations. In the longer run, these better-informed stakeholders, along with academic scholars, will be able to build up more evidence in an iterative and collaborative manner, and contribute to further policy improvements.

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