Resources Science ›› 2021, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (11): 2277-2288.doi: 10.18402/resci.2021.11.11

Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of ecological compensation on water environment governance in the Yellow River Basin: A test based on difference-in-difference method

MA Junqi1(), YUE Zhang2   

  1. 1. School of Public Administration, Chongqing Technology and Business University, Chongqing 400067, China
    2. School of Public Administration, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan 430073, China
  • Received:2021-03-12 Revised:2021-08-29 Online:2021-11-25 Published:2022-01-27


Ecological compensation in the Yellow River Basin is an important system design to ensure the long-term stability of the Yellow River and promote the high-quality development of the entire river basin. This study used the national water quality monitoring data of key sections of the river basins from 2007 to 2018 and the data from the China City Statistical Yearbooks, and adopted the multi-period difference-in-difference method to empirically test the water environment governance effect and mechanism of the ecological compensation policy in the Yellow River Basin. The study found that the implementation of the ecological compensation policy has significantly improved the effect of water environment governance in the Yellow River Basin, and the ecological compensation in the Yellow River Basin has shown a significant long-term pollution control effect. This conclusion is still valid after a series of robustness tests. Mechanism analysis shows that the implementation of ecological compensation policy has had a significant institutional incentive effect. By increasing local government investment in environmental governance, reducing industrial wastewater discharge has improved the water pollution situation in the Yellow River Basin. From a spatial perspective, compared with cities in the upper and middle reaches of the Yellow River Basin, ecological compensation policy has had a more significant impact on the water environment management of downstream cities. Based on this, the article proposes relevant policy recommendations for improving the water environment of the Yellow River Basin from the perspectives of improving the horizontal ecological compensation within the river basin, attaching importance to the ecological transfer payment in the middle and upper reaches, and establishing a joint water pollution prevention and control system with multiple stakeholders.

Key words: ecological compensation, water environment governance, environmental governance investment, sewage emission reduction, difference- in- difference, Yellow River Basin