Administrative Division Adjustment and Environmental Regulation: Evidence from City-County Mergers in China
For countries like China where the market segmentation is widespread, the introduction of administrative division adjustment is expected to facilitate the inter-regional integration. In this paper, we investigate the effects of one specific form of administrative division adjustment, i.e., city-county mergers (CCM, hereafter) on environmental regulation. We propose two different integrations resulted from the CCM, that is, economic integration and political integration. Specifically, the economic integration, by weakening market segmentation, may lead to a “scale expansion effect” on firms, which may hurt local environment; While political integration, by transferring the autonomy of the merged county to the city, would weaken the “race to the bottom” competition in terms of environmental regulation between the merged county and original municipal districts and thus benefit local environment, which is named “competition weakening effect”. Using China Industrial Enterprises Database and Pollution Database of China Industrial Enterprises, it’s found that the CCM could significantly lower the local pollution, suggesting the dominant role of “competition weakening effect”. Furthermore, such an improvement in environmental quality is largely due to the cleaner use of energy from the beginning. Additionally, decomposition analysis discloses that the improvement in energy efficiency was largely resulted from the between-firm component of surviving firms and the entry of new firms which are more energy efficient.
鄒靜嫻，中國人民大學國家發展與戰略研究院副教授。主要研究方向為國際經濟學和發展經濟學，研究成果發表于China Economic Review、Ecological Economics、International Tax and Public Finance、《經濟研究》、《管理世界》、《世界經濟》、《金融研究》、《統計研究》等中英文期刊。曾獲“北京大學優秀博士學位論文”、“《世界經濟年鑒2017》國際發展經濟學十佳中文論文”、“中國人民大學優秀科研成果獎”等學術獎勵。
Window Dressing in the Public Sector: Evidence from China’s Compulsory Education Promotion Program
We analyzed the window-dressing behavior of China’s local governments throughout the 1990s, when they were required to fulfill compulsory education targets imposed by the central government. County officials faced severe negative career consequences if they failed to fulfill these targets. We found that county-level education expenditures increased dramatically as the pre-specified inspection period drew near, but decreased immediately after the inspection. This phenomenon was interpreted as evidence of the window-dressing behavior of county governments. Further analysis suggests that local officials with longer tenure and who were thus closer to promotion evaluations tended to engage in more aggressively window-dressing. Window-dressing behavior generates real consequences for school-age teenagers: those exposed to local governments’ window-dressing behavior recorded considerably lower junior high school graduation rates and poorer labor market outcomes later in life.
劉暢，中國人民大學國家發展與戰略研究院講師。中央財經大學財政學院經濟學學士、碩士，北京大學光華管理學院經濟學博士，曾在普林斯頓大學和香港中文大學（深圳）進行博士后研究。研究成果發表于Journal of Development Economics、Journal of Law, Economics & Organization、Journal of Comparative Economics、European Journal of Political Economy、《中國社會科學》、《經濟研究》、《世界經濟》、《經濟學季刊》和《金融研究》等中英文雜志。主持國家自然科學基金等科研項目。曾獲得洪銀興經濟學獎、當代經濟學博士創新項目、全國優秀財政理論研究成果一等獎、鄧子基財經學術論文獎和中國人民大學優秀科研成果獎等榮譽。
Fire or Retire: Making Career Incentives Matter for State Effectiveness
Adopting an effective institutional incentive to enhance effectiveness is probably critical for any organizations and particularly for politics. Drawing on a novel bureaucrat-prefecture-year panel of China covering 1838 prefectural secretaries from 325 prefectures between 1984 and 2015, along with a regression discontinuity design built upon a promotion age ceiling embedded in China’s bureaucratic apparatus, we find a significant effect of career incentives faced by local leaders on their corresponding economic performance. Nevertheless, it also raises concerns on the sustainability of such pattern, as additional evidence shows the short-term gain is mainly through massive capital investment, rather than the improvement of efficiency (human capital or TFP).
秦聰，中國人民大學國家發展與戰略研究院副教授。主要研究方向為財政學和發展經濟學。曾在European Economic Review、Journal of International Money and Finance、《中國社會科學》、《經濟研究》、《世界經濟》、《中國工業經濟》等中英文學術期刊發表論文多篇。主持國家自然科學基金等科研項目。曾獲第十屆“黃達-蒙代爾經濟學獎”。