Does Environmental Court Lead to Local Green Growth? Evidence from 230 Cities in China


  • Ge Xin Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Public Economics and Administration, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Yangpu, Shanghai 200433, China
  • Feng Wang Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, China Public Finance Institute and School of Public Economics and Administration, Yangpu, Shanghai 200433, China



environmental governance, environmental court, green growth, local government, difference-in-differences


To tackle the multifaceted environmental challenges and bolster environmental law enforcement in China, environmental courts have proliferated across many cities since 2007. However, their actual effects on economic growth, a central concern for governments at all levels, have yet to be thoroughly investigated. Leveraging the panel data of 230 cities from 2007-2016 and taking the establishment of environment courts as a quasi-natural experiment, this paper uses the difference-in-differences (DID) approach to examine the effects of building environmental courts on green economic growth at the prefectural level. We find that first, the effect is positive and significant; second, on possible channel for the boosting effect of environment court is through increasing technological innovation; third, the effect of court on green growth is more significant after two to three years. These findings provide references for both scholars of environmental politics and practitioners of green development in local governments.


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