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Fiscal Incentives and Environmental Infrastructure in China
Antung Anthony Liu, Junjie Zhang
RFF Discussion Paper 12-36 | September 2012
RESEARCH TOPICS:
Abstract
This paper provides evidence that China's system of tax revenue sharing is an important explanation for differences in the rate of sewage treatment plant construction among its cities. As a result of the 1994 tax reform, Chinese cities retained different shares of their value-added tax (VAT). Exploiting the persistence of this sharing system, we use the VAT share in 1995 as an instrument for the present fiscal incentives. We find that a 10 percentage point increase in the VAT sharing rate resulted in a 13.8% increase in the construction of sewage treatment capacity. This result suggests that fiscal incentives can play an important role in the provision of pollution-reducing infrastructure.
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