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Author ORCID Identifier


Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Michael Ash

Second Advisor

David M. Kotz

Third Advisor

James K. Boyce

Fourth Advisor

Piper R. Gaubatz

Subject Categories



In this dissertation, I focus on environmental justice in China and global environmental justice. In Chapter 2 and 3, I focus on defining the environmental justice issue in China and exploring factors that could explain it. In Chapter 4, I focus on global environmental justice and explore the pollution outsourcing hypothesis. Chapter 2 examines the existing Chinese environmental justice literature and presents a framework for defining and examining the environmental justice issue in China using publicly available datasets. Using county-level data from the population census of 2010 and the information on the location of major industrial air polluting facilities, this Chapter shows that counties with a higher percentage of governmental officials and enterprise owners and managers tend to have less polluting facilities. The paper does not find evidence that the ethnic minorities and rural-to-urban migrants in China are exposed to more air pollution sources. Chapter 3 focuses on the environmental injustice faced by the rural-to-urban migrants in Chinese cities. Using data from the population census of 2000 and 2010 and a unique dataset showing the location and year of establishment of more than 200 major industrial pollution sources in China’s Yangtze River Delta, the econometric analysis shows that while new facilities do not disproportionately locate in counties where migrants make up a higher percentage of local population, migrants do tend to move to counties where polluting facilities are geographically denser. For mitigating the impact of air pollution on the migrant population, it’s necessary to strengthen industrial air pollution regulation, and improve migrants’ income and their access to health care. Chapter 4 examines the pollution outsourcing hypothesis using the World Input-Output Data from 30 countries and 10 manufacturing industries between 1996 and 2007. After constructing two measurements of production fragmentation and outsourcing and two measurements of within-industry cross-country differences in the stringency of regulation on six types of air pollutants, the regression results show that manufacturing industries outsource more to countries with relatively less stringent regulations; and outsourcing helps in lowering the industries’ domestic emission intensities. The effects are significant for multiple types of major globally and locally harmful air emissions.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License