Environmental Economics and Policy Studies

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 21–39 | Cite as

Did Olympic Games improve air quality in Beijing? Based on the synthetic control method

  • Jun ZhangEmail author
  • Chunping Zhong
  • Ming YiEmail author
Research Article


During preparations for the Olympic Games, Beijing issued a series of environmental policies to increase environmental governance. Using Synthetic Control Method, which appeared in a comparative case study recently, we estimated the impact of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on Beijing’s air quality in this paper. The results show that Beijing’s air quality significantly improved after 2008; average annual air pollution days reduced by 25 days, and the result is significant on the level of 3.2 %. But after 2010, these effects disappeared gradually. Furthermore, considering winter is the most polluted season of Beijing, this paper further examined the impact of these environmental policies on the air quality in winter. We find that after the Olympics, the improvement of air quality in Beijing mainly occurred in other seasons, winter air quality did not significantly improve.


Environmental Regulation Air Quality Beijing Olympic Games 

JEL Classification

D0 Q53 Q58 


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Copyright information

© Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies and Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Finance and Banking, Chinese Academy of Science SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of EconomicsHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina
  3. 3.National Academy of Economic Strategy, Chinese Academy of Science SciencesBeijingChina

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