China's Top 1000 and 10,000 Energy-Consuming Enterprises Program: Effectiveness, Compliance, and Lessons


Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 3:30pm to 4:45pm


Pierce 100F, 29 Oxford St., Cambridge, MA

Speaker: CAO Jing

CAO Jing, Visiting Scholar, Harvard-China Project; Associate Professor, Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University

Abstract: In order to improve energy efficiency and curb air pollution, the Chinese government has been implementing rate-based mandates to achieve energy saving or meet pollution reduction targets for the past decade. In this paper, we examine the impacts of China’s “Top-1000 and Top-10,000 Energy-Consuming Enterprises Program” – a policy that is key to achieving the energy efficiency and low carbon targets in China’s 11th and 12th Five Year Plan. According to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Top-1000 program saved 156 mil. tce during 2006-2010, exceeding the initial target of 100 mil. tce. Previous studies on the Top-1000 program, using counterfactual continuation of firms’ energy behavior in a previous benchmark year, also suggest substantial energy saving. By instead using exact match algorithms to compare actual energy use of enterprises covered by the policy and that of similar firms not subject to the policy, we find surprisingly little effects of the Top-1000 policy on firms’ energy-saving behavior. In terms of economic performance, our studies suggest insignificant productivity changes in the firms covered by the Top-1000 program. However, when the policy was extended to the Top-10,000 program in the 12th Five Year Plan, privately owned enterprises bore significantly higher costs than other firms.

Sponsored by China Project, Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.