Disguised Pollution: Industrial Activities in the Dark

71 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2019 Last revised: 27 Nov 2020

See all articles by Sumit Agarwal

Sumit Agarwal

National University of Singapore

Yu Qin

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Real Estate

Hongjia Zhu

Jinan University

Date Written: November 25, 2020

Abstract

We study the disguised pollution of industrial firms in China. We find that sulfur dioxide (SO2) readings increase by 15.9% in monitoring stations after sunset in high factory density areas, controlling for station-day and city-hour fixed effects. Physical inspections by the Ministry of Environmental Protection can only temporarily reduce disguised pollution, suggesting that reliance on physical inspections to enforce regulations is ineffective if firms can increase production activities to non-daylight hours. We show that direct monitoring, as is done with some large polluters in China, can prevent this and should be cost effective to extend to all the industrial polluters.

Keywords: air pollution; disguised behavior; industrial firms; inspections; health; China

JEL Classification: Q53, L51, I18, D22

Suggested Citation

Agarwal, Sumit and Qin, Yu and Zhu, Hongjia, Disguised Pollution: Industrial Activities in the Dark (November 25, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3359404 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3359404

Sumit Agarwal

National University of Singapore ( email )

15 Kent Ridge Drive
Singapore, 117592
Singapore
8118 9025 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ushakrisna.com

Yu Qin (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Real Estate ( email )

4 Architecture Drive
Singapore 117566
Singapore

Hongjia Zhu

Jinan University ( email )

Huang Pu Da Dao Xi 601, Tian He District
Guangzhou, Guangdong 510632
China

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