Resources Science ›› 2021, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (1): 40-56.doi: 10.18402/resci.2021.01.04

Previous Articles     Next Articles

Environmental policy mechanism of local governments in the treatment of haze pollution:Policy tools, spatial correlations and threshold effects

LI Zihao(), YUAN Bingbing()   

  1. College of International Economics and Trade, Henan University of Economics and Law, Zhengzhou 450046, China
  • Received:2019-11-29 Revised:2020-09-09 Online:2021-01-25 Published:2021-03-25
  • Contact: YUAN Bingbing


Smog pollution reduction is an important part of the “tough battle for pollution prevention and control”. As the key actor of environmental governance, local governments should play a key role in improving the effectiveness of their environmental policies for smog control. Based on the data of 30 provinces (municipalities, autonomous regions) in China’s mainland from 2003 to 2016 and the data of 217 cities from 2007 to 2016, this study used dynamic spatial panels and dynamic panel threshold measurement methods to test relevant theoretical hypotheses. The results show that: (1) Different types of measures of the local governments for environmental governance have various degrees of success on smog pollution control. Specifically, environmental protection legislation and environmental protection investment of local governments have more significant effects in reducing smog pollution, while local governments’ environmental law enforcement has little effect on the suppression of smog pollution. (2) In terms of spatial correlation, the impact of different measures of local government environmental governance in neighboring areas on local smog pollution is also different. Environmental legislation of neighboring regions has increased local smog pollution through the escalation of coordination costs. Although government environmental law enforcement can reduce smog pollution, the effect is not significant; while environmental protection investment in neighboring areas can significantly reduce local smog pollution through the spatial spillover of smog pollution control. (3) The impact of local government environmental governance on smog pollution has a significant threshold effect. When the level of regional technological development or urbanization is high, local government environmental governance can effectively reduce smog pollution, and vice versa. This study divided government environmental governance into three measures: environmental legislation, law enforcement, and investment. This article detailed the mechanism of government environmental governance actions on smog pollution control, and provided a scientific basis for the government to further improve the environmental governance system and win the war of blue sky defense.

Key words: local government, environmental governance, smog pollution, policy tools, spatial correlation, threshold effects