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Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 132;

What Causes Haze Pollution? An Empirical Study of PM2.5 Concentrations in Chinese Cities

School of International and Public Affairs, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China
School of Public Policy and Administration, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, Shaanxi, China
John Glenn College of Public Affairs, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Pallav Purohit
Received: 7 December 2015 / Revised: 7 January 2016 / Accepted: 25 January 2016 / Published: 29 January 2016
PDF [564 KB, uploaded 29 January 2016]


In recent years, many areas of China have suffered from serious haze pollution, which greatly affects human health and daily life. It is of policy importance to understand the factors that influence the spatial concentration of PM2.5. Based on data from 74 cities with PM2.5 monitoring stations in 2013 and 2014, this study presents the overall haze situation in China and explores the determinants of PM2.5 using a random-effects model, as well as a set of OLS regressions. The results indicate that PM2.5 is significantly correlated with the industrial proportion, the number of motor vehicles, and household gas consumption, while public financial expenditure on energy saving and environmental protection does not show statistically significant effects. The analysis implies that China should adjust its economic structure and optimizes environmental governance to effectively respond to haze pollution. View Full-Text
Keywords: haze; PM2.5; China; environmental governance haze; PM2.5; China; environmental governance

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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).

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Wu, J.; Zhang, P.; Yi, H.; Qin, Z. What Causes Haze Pollution? An Empirical Study of PM2.5 Concentrations in Chinese Cities. Sustainability 2016, 8, 132.

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