Effects of environmental regulation on air pollution control in China: a spatial Durbin econometric analysis

  • Xueping Wu
  • Ming Gao
  • Shihong GuoEmail author
  • Wei Li
Original Article


Based on provincial panel date of China for the period 2001–2014, this study empirically adopts the slacks-based measure of directional distance function model and spatial Durbin model to explore the impacts of environmental regulation and its spatial spillover effect on air pollution control. The results show that the increase of environmental regulation stringency will help to improve air pollution control efficiency or reduce air pollutant emissions. In terms of spatial effect, evidence has been found to support environmental regulation has significantly spatial spillover effects. Specifically, the increase of environmental regulation in other provinces will decrease local air pollution control efficiency or increase local air pollutant emissions, which implies that there is strategic interaction of environmental regulation among local governments. Moreover, the results of the time interval test indicate that the effects of environmental regulation on air pollution control have improved in recent years, and with the increase of environmental regulation stringency, its spatial spillover effects have increased.


Environmental regulation Air pollution control Strategic interaction Spatial Durbin model Local government 

JEL Classification

C21 H70 Q50 



The authors acknowledge financial support from the National Social Science Foundation of China (No. 18BGL176). The authors acknowledge the very helpful research assistance of the SSS (Economics) and the Economic growth Centre (EGC) in Nanyang Technological University. The authors are grateful for very helpful comments from anonymous reviewers. Chen Jianqing provides very competent research assistance.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics and ManagementFuzhou UniversityFuzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Social SciencesNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.School of Public Policy and ManagementTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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