B. van Rooij
- Explaining the enforcement gap in China: Local government support and internal agency obstacles as predictors of enforcement actions in Guangzhou
- Journal of Environmental Management
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Interfacultary Research Institutes
Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics (ACLE)
The Netherlands China Law Centre (NCLC)
This study investigates how local government support for enforcement and internal agency obstacles explain the enforcement gap in Guangzhou, China. It was found that agency obstacles associated with insufﬁcient resources and job ambiguity, in particular, affect enforcement ofﬁcials’ perceptions of enforcement difﬁculty. Somewhat more surprisingly, however, local government support was not found to be a signiﬁcant predictor of these perceptions. In addition, this study identiﬁed four signiﬁcant relationships associated with speciﬁc enforcement actions. First and second, perceptions of enforcement difﬁculty appear to lead to fewer inspections, but also have a weak positive effect on the frequency of ﬁnes levied. Third, poor coordination within the bureau was found to be associated with fewer violations being processed. Fourth, and contrary to expectations, local government support was found to suppress the frequency of inspections while having no signiﬁcant effect on violations or ﬁnes. Overall, these ﬁndings suggest that increased local government support for the enforcement of environmental regulation in China may not necessarily lead to more rigorous enforcement, at least if enforcement rigor is measured in terms of inspections, citations and ﬁnes.
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