Next Article in Journal
Levels of Governance in Policy Innovation Cycles in Community Education: The Cases of Education for Sustainable Development and Climate Change Education
Next Article in Special Issue
Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Beijing’s Urbanization Efficiency from 2005 to 2014
Previous Article in Journal
A Stochastic Optimization Model for Carbon Mitigation Path under Demand Uncertainty of the Power Sector in Shenzhen, China
Previous Article in Special Issue
Estimation of Ecological Compensation Standards for Fallow Heavy Metal-Polluted Farmland in China Based on Farmer Willingness to Accept
Article Menu
Issue 11 (November) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1941; doi:10.3390/su9111941

How Have Political Incentives for Local Officials Reduced Environmental Pollution in Resource-Depleted Cities?

1
China Institute of Manufacturing Development, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
2
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
3
School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
4
College of Economics and Management & Research Centre for Soft Energy Sciences, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing 211100, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 September 2017 / Revised: 15 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [365 KB, uploaded 26 October 2017]   |  

Abstract

Chinese resource-exhausted cities face more severe environmental pollution problems than other cities. In addressing these problems, the way local officials (usually senior party and government leaders) operate is very important, as their focus on political achievements may complicate how they manage environmental pollution in these cities. On the one hand, the traditional Gross Domestic Product-based quest for political achievement may lead top leaders to de-emphasize environmental pollution. On the other hand, changes made in 2003 to the way the performance of Chinese officials is evaluated have encouraged some local senior party and government leaders to pay more attention to environmental problems. Based on this, we analyze the relationship between political incentives and environmental pollution by applying the 2004–2014 panel data from 37 resource-exhausted cities. The findings reveal that firstly, among the factors which impact the environmental pollution of resource-exhausted cities, investment in fixed assets, foreign direct investment, industrial structure, per-capita education expenditure, and population density do not have a significant impact, thus indicating that local openness levels, the degree of industrial upgrading, and local investment in fixed assets are not the key variables in environmental pollution control. Secondly, the extent to which officials vie for political achievement affects environmental pollution in resource-exhausted cities. This depends upon whether the officials are municipal party secretaries or mayors; the former play a greater dynamic role in environmental pollution and have stronger robustness than the latter. The conclusion verifies both the existing authority structure of China and its effectiveness in the control of environmental pollution of resource-exhausted cities. That is to say, in contrast to the principles of the party committees, the mayors are in a subordinate position and often fail to fully and effectively exercise their functions. Accordingly, we point out that the selection of municipal party secretaries, rather than mayors, is particularly important in coming to terms with local environmental pollution. View Full-Text
Keywords: municipal party secretaries; mayors; political incentives; resource-exhausted cities; environmental pollution municipal party secretaries; mayors; political incentives; resource-exhausted cities; environmental pollution
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, H.; Xiong, L.; Qiu, Y.; Zhou, D. How Have Political Incentives for Local Officials Reduced Environmental Pollution in Resource-Depleted Cities? Sustainability 2017, 9, 1941.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top