T16P09 - Sustainable Development and Environment Policy

Topic : Sustainable Development and Policy

Panel Chair : Namrata Chindarkar - namrata.chindarkar@nus.edu.sg

Panel Second Chair : Sonia Akter - sonia.akter@nus.edu.sg

Panel Third Chair : Yvonne Chen - sppcj@nus.edu.sg

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel

Call for papers

Session 1 Sustainable Development and Environment Policy - I


Yvonne Chen - sppcj@nus.edu.sg - National University of Singapore - Singapore

Sonia Akter - sonia.akter@nus.edu.sg - Singapore

Classifying the Cities by Examining the Environmental Kuznets Curve for Low-carbon Development in China

Chao Zhang - zhangchao16@mails.tsinghua.edu.cn - Tsinghua University - China

Xufeng Zhu - zhuxufeng@tsinghua.edu.cn - Tsinghua University - China

China is the largest carbon dioxide (CO2) emitter worldwide, triggering strong needs for low-carbon development. According to the Paris Agreement, China is proposed to take the initiatives to improve its own mitigation contribution for addressing climate change and transform its current economic growth pattern. However, with limited awareness on local level CO2 emissions, the central government could hardly decompose its mitigation plan into local administrative units. Moreover, there is a lack of precise-data based research on proposing unified benchmarking scheme for examining the low-carbon development status. In this research, based on the bottom-up monitoring data of CO2 emission from 1.5 million enterprises conducted by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) in China, a 1-km grid CO2 emissions warehouse was interpolated for prefectural cities all over China. Based on these city-level GDP and CO2 emissions data, the authors test the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) by spatial econometric modeling, hypothesizing an inverted-U-shaped relationship between environmental pollution and economic growth. The research reveals an uneven city scale landscape of low-carbon development status, which shows that resource-intensive cities dragging the low-carbon development down, while the majority part of service-oriented coastal area and several sparsely populated western cities have passed the turning point of EKC and leading the low-carbon development in China. Altogether, this research offers a pivotal and feasible method for the study of finer city level CO2 emission and highlights approaches for decomposing the CO2 mitigation target under the scenario of achieving the Paris Agreement. This research especially matches the panel of Sustainable Development and Policy, under the T16P18 - Environmental Policy, considering the research provides an innovative strategy and benchmarking method for policy actors to promote the modification of low-carbon development policy. It also puts forward a big-data based scientific decision making mechanisms serving as policy advocacy tools for environmental protection.

Government administrative rank and industrial pollution in China

Hualiu Yang - yanghlhorse@hotmail.com - China

This study investigates how China’s administrative hierarchy influences industrial pollution emissions. The argument is that lower ranked cities would have a higher industrial pollution level even if they reach the same income per capita level as higher ranked cities. This essay will investigate two channels through which administrative rank affects a local industrial pollution. First, a higher level city with more resources are able to attract less pollution intensive firms (industry structure), achieve higher production efficiency (technology), and perform better on pollution regulation enforcement leading to a local market with less pollution intensive industries. The other channel is the institutional quality of a city. Administrative rank enhances the quality in governance institutions (i.e., the local government and the local market) due to the resources advantage. The higher institutional quality leads to more efficient local spending and a spending structure towards more to the public services that are able to internalize the market externalities. The Chinese city-level data from 2003-2010 will be used to test these two channels through which the city administrative rank matters to the local industrial SO2 emissions. The policy implication from this study is that the Chinese central government needs to keep its efforts on containing this inequality within the administrative hierarchy for the benefits of itself (i.e., stability) and the benefits of the people located at lower level cities.

The role of private schooling on children learning outcomes and prevalence of female mathematical anxiety in India

Karan Singhal - karansinghal1993@gmail.com - Indian Institute of Management - India

In light of the upcoming New Education Policy in India, it is important to assess the current quality of education in context to the aims set under the previous major policies such as Right to Education (2009), National Policy on Education (1986), consultation and position papers by the National Curriculum Framework set up by the National Council of Educational Research and Training in India.


Learning outcomes among children play a major role in shaping up future individual earnings, development and hence economic growth. Along with the demand side factors like parental income and education, supply side factors are important as well. In the view of increasing preference of private schooling in India, this paper assesses its impact on learning outcomes of children aged 8-11 years in rural India. Despite earlier attempts to study this, the existing literature does not control for confounding unobservable factors that may affect learning factors. While some experimental and longitudinal studies may have controlled for unobservable factors through randomisation and value added models, their designs suffer from limitations especially in terms of external validity where the causal inferences cannot be generalised to other situations and people. This paper uses the Indian Human Development Survey data collected in the latest round (2011-12) and attempts to examine children attendance in private schools and its relationship with educational outcomes. In this paper, by applying instrumental variable regressions through credible instruments that would control for the unobservable characteristics, we find positive and significant impact of private schooling on learning outcomes among children in rural India. We also find some evidence of gender difference among children from public schools in terms of learning outcomes and the prevalence of mathematical anxiety among females. Also, male children from public schools are found to perform better than girls not only in mathematics but also in reading indicating that prevalence of a stronger gender difference among children attending government schools.


We also evaluate the scenario of education and gender inclusion at the primary level, throwing light on the distance from achieving related targets under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)- ‘Quality Education’ and ‘Gender Equality’. Pertinent questions about the role of private sector through reservation policy for socially and economically backward sections as being currently implemented under Section 12(1)(c) of the Right to Education Act as are also discussed. It further attempts to shed light on whether the political environment is more conducive to implement similar changes which haven’t been able to see effective implementation in the past.  

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