Wednesday 22 May 2024
h. 12:00 noon CET

The event

To overcome key challenges in environmental policy evaluation we use machine learning based weather normalisation techniques to strip out the effect of weather on air pollution estimates. Combined with Augmented Synthetic Control Methods (ASCM) we provide a causal estimate of the impact of China’s decision to centralise environmental policy enforcement. Focusing on Hebei province we find that the recently introduced Central Environmental Inspection Policy led to a short-term reduction in PM2.5 and SO2 immediately after the inspection. However, within 3 months of the inspection team leaving, pollution levels had returned to previous levels. Comparisons with Difference-in-Difference estimations show the importance of both weather normalising and using an ASCM approach, particularly in the absence of parallel pre-trends.

The speaker

Professor Matt Cole is an environmental economist whose research examines the relationships between economic development and the natural environment, with a particular focus on issues relating to international trade, air pollution, health and biodiversity. He has published over 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as numerous book contributions with his work receiving over 15,000 career citations on Google Scholar. Matt is a Co-Editor of the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the ESRC Peer Review College.