Michael Greenstone, Guojun He, Shanjun Li, Eric Zou

The decade from 2010 to 2019 marked a significant turning point in China’s history of environmental regulation and pollution. This article describes the recent trends in air and water quality, with a focus on the five years since China declared a “war on pollution” in 2014. It summarizes the emerging literature that has taken advantage of accompanying improvements in data availability and accuracy to document sharp improvements in environmental quality, especially local air pollution, and understand their social, economic, and health consequences.

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Areas of Focus: EPIC-China
Definition
EPIC-China
China is indisputably critical to addressing the global energy challenge. China is one of the world’s biggest economies, its top carbon emitter, and among its most polluted countries. Yet, China...
Environment
Definition
Environment
Producing and using energy damages people’s health and the environment. EPIC research is quantifying the social costs of energy choices and uncovering policies that help protect health while facilitating growth.
Air Pollution
Definition
Air Pollution
Air pollution from fossil fuel combustion poses a grave threat to human health worldwide. EPIC research is using real-world data to calculate the effects of air pollution on human health...
Environmental Health
Definition
Environmental Health
Energy and industrial processes introduce toxins into the environment. EPIC research is helping to educate policymakers and consumers on the social and economic costs of this pollution, and the potential...