Science of The Total Environment
Chuandong Li;Xiaowei Ma;Tingbin Fu;Shuaihua Guan
Chinese residents are becoming more and more concerned about the living environment especially under the situation of environmental degradation caused by the unbalanced and inadequate economic development. The widespread of internet use provide a new way for public to express the dissatisfaction on environmental pollution. Although the public is the main body of society, the public concern over environmental issues are rarely studied. In this paper, the impact of public concern over haze on haze pollution is quantitatively examined by the utilization of econometric model. Specifically, the Baidu search index (BSI) is utilized as indicators for public concern. Using the panel data consisting of 13 cities in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region from the period from January 2014 to December 2019, estimation results showed a significant improvement effect of public concern on haze pollution. In general, the public concern can improve the air quality in a short turn. However, this improvement effect varies with different economic development levels. These findings can help policy makers to better understand the role of public in social governance and improve the air quality in China with the inclusion of public participation.