Exploring the relationship among location, productivity, and environmental impact of industrial firms in China’s Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region

PI: Valerie Karplus (Sloan School of Management, MIT)


This project is focused on understanding the drivers of energy-intensive industrial development in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei mega-region of China over the past 15 years. We study the characteristics of entering and exiting firms within three energy-intensive sectors--electric power, iron and steel, cement, and chemicals--in Beijing, Tianjin, and several urban centers in Hebei Province. We exploit heterogeneity in the nature and stringency of environmental policy to study the role of environmental controls alongside other location-specific attributes, such as per-capita income, in firm entry and exit decisions. Insights from this body of work will shed light on the timing, nature, and drivers of industrial transitions we might expect in cities across China and around the world.