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Environmental risks of shale gas development in China

Shale gas development in China can generate great potential economic benefits, but also poses serious environmental risks. In this paper, we offer a macro assessment of the environmental risks of shale gas development in China.


Forest Tenure Reform in Asia and Africa: Local Control for Improved Livelihoods, Forest Management, and Carbon Sequestration

Forest tenure reforms are occurring in many developing countries around the world. These reforms typically include devolution of forest lands to local people and communities, which has attracted a great deal of attention and interest. While the nature and level of devolution vary by country, all have potentially important implications for resource allocation, local ecosystem services, livelihoods and climate change. 


The Environment for Development Initiative: lessons learned in research, academic capacity building and policy intervention to manage resources for sustainable growth

This article reviews the history of the Environment for Development (EfD) initiative, its activities in capacity building and policy-oriented research, and case studies at its centres in Chile, China, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania.


Characteristics of residential energy consumption in China: Findings from a household survey

Highlights • We develop the first comprehensive survey of residential energy consumption in China. • A typical Chinese household in 2012 consumed 1426 kilograms coal equivalent. • Space heating accounts for half of energy demand. • A large rural–urban gap exists in terms of energy sources and end-use activities. • Results reveal challenges and opportunities for China׳s energy policy.   Abstract


The Economic Impact of Weather Variability on China’s Rice Sector

This paper provides the first county-level analysis of the impacts of weather variability on rice yield in China, by compiling a unique panel on irrigated single-season rice and daily weather data. We found that temperature and solar radiation had statistically significant impacts on rice yield during the vegetative and ripening stages, while the effects of rainfall on yield were not significant.


Will a Driving Restriction Policy Reduce Car Trips? A Case Study of Beijing, China

A driving restriction policy, as a control-and-command rationing measure, is a politically acceptable policy tool to address traffic congestion and air pollution in some countries and cities. Beijing was the first city in China to implement this policy. A one-day-a-week driving restriction scheme was expected to take 20 percent of cars off the road every weekday.


EfD China Center Report 2012/13

This report presents EfD China, its members and work during 2012/13.For a free hardcopy, please send an email to:


Forest land rights, tenure types, and farmers' investment incentives in China: An empirical study of Fujian Province

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of land rights and tenure types on farmers' investment behavior in Chinese collective forests, using household survey data from Fujian Province. Design/methodology/approach – In this study, the authors conducted a household survey in Fujian province of 520 randomly selected forest farmers. The authors used a random-effects Tobit model to estimate the impact of land rights and other components on, for example, tenure security and harvest quota, and the impact of tenure types on farmers' investment incentives.


Travel Mode Choice and Impact of Fuel Tax in Beijing

As an international metropolitan area undergoing rapid development, Beijing is facing a sharp rise in the volume of motor vehicles and mobility, which has become the major contributor to the air pollution in this city.


Easy come, easy go

A growing number of experimental studies focus on the differences between the lab and the field. One important difference between many lab and field experiments is how the endowment is obtained. By conducting a dictator game experiment, we investigate the influences of windfall and earned endowment on behavior in the laboratory and in the field.


Property rights, tenure security and forest investment incentives: evidence from China's Collective Forest Tenure Reform

This paper assesses how tenure reform in China's collective forest sector affects Chinese farmer households’ perception of tenure security and propensity to invest in their forestland. A large database consisting of information from 3,180 households in eight provinces from south to north is used to explore factors correlated with more strongly perceived tenure security and determinants of forest-related investment.


The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth—A multiple country test of an oath script

Hypothetical bias is one of the main issues bedeviling the field of nonmarket valuation. The general criticism is that survey responses reflect how people would like to behave, rather than how they actually behave. In our study of climate change and carbon emissions reductions, based on the increasing bulk of evidence from psychology and economics regarding the effects of making promises, we investigate the effect of an oath script in a contingent valuation survey.


On Social Sanctions and Beliefs: A Pollution Norm Example

A prevailing view in the literature is that social sanctions can support, in equilibrium, high levels of obedience to a costly norm. The reason is that social disapproval and stigmatization faced by the disobedient are highest when disobedience is the exception rather than the rule in society.


EfD China Center Report 2011/12

This report presents EfD China, its members and work during 2011/12.For a free hardcopy, please send an email to:


Automobile Usage and Urban Rail Transit Expansion

Using individual travel diary data collected before and after the rail transit coverage expansion in urban Beijing, this paper estimates the impact of rail accessibility improvement on the usage of rail transit, automobiles, buses, walking, and bicycling, measured as percent distance traveled by each mode in an individual trip.


China’s environmental challenges going rural and west

China is increasingly suffering from ‘growing pains’ of severe environmental challenges arising during the past decades’ economic boom (Fu et al, 2007; Liu and Diamond, 2008). While this has been widely discussed, more attention and effort has been focused on the problems directly resulting from urbanization and industrialization, such as growing greenhouse gas emissions and worsening urban air and water quality


Ownership, autonomy, incentives and efficiency: Evidence from the forest product processing industry in China

Using enterprise-level data from China's Northeast-Inner Mongolia state-owned forest area for the year 2004, this paper investigates the technical efficiency of forest product processing mills and the relationship between institutional and managerial practices and efficiency. A two-stage procedure proposed by Simar and Wilson (2007) is adopted. In the first stage, a bootstrapped data envelopment analysis (DEA) model is used to compute the efficiency scores.


Effects of environmental policy on consumption: lessons from the Chinese plastic bag regulation

To reduce plastic bag litter, China introduced a nationwide regulation requiring all retailers to charge for plastic shopping bags on 1 June 2008. By using the policy implementation as a natural experiment and collecting individual-level data before and after the implementation, we investigate the impacts of the regulation on consumers’ bag use. We find that the regulation implementation caused a 49 per cent reduction in the use of new bags.


Environmental information transparency and implications for green growth in China

Environmental information transparency performs social and learning functions indispensable for green growth. Still facing the challenges of a lack of local commitment and less than optimal institutional capacity, there is no doubt that China has made substantial progress on granting and enforcing public right to environmental information.


Evaluating An Analytic-deliberative Risk-ranking Process in A Chinese Context

In previous research, a deliberative process for integrating stakeholder perspectives in the ranking of risks was introduced and empirically tested with lay groups composed predominantly of Americans. In this paper, we explore the viability of this process with lay groups of Chinese, because previous research has shown that Americans and Chinese differ substantially along many dimensions of cognition and social organization relevant to decision-making.


Controlling Local Environmental Performance: an analysis of three national environmental management programs in the context of regional disparities in China

Whether government has the political will and capacity to control pollution is crucial for environmental outcomes. A vast country such as China, with centralized policymaking but idiosyncratic local implementation of environmental regulations and drastic regional disparities in wealth, raises the question how does the central government stimulate local environmental commitment to accommodate such diversity?