Environmental Regulation and Chronic Conditions: Evidence from China’s Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan

Yang Zhao, Beomsoo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In January 2013, a dense haze covered 1.4 million kilometers of China and affected more than 800 million people. Air pollution in China had become a serious threat to the daily lives of people. The State Council of China enacted the “Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan” (APPCAP) in 2013 to lower the particulate matter (PM) level. Between 2013 and 2017, each administrative division established its own environmental preservation strategy in accordance with the APPCAP. We examined the effects of the nationwide air pollution control policy, APPCAP, on chronic health conditions among adults using a nationally representative survey, CFPS, conducted in 2012, 2014, and 2016. We applied a difference-in-differences model, using the time gap when each administrative division implemented the APPCAP. We found that the APPCAP significantly reduced doctor-diagnosed chronic conditions of the respiratory and circulatory systems in the last six months. In respiratory diseases and circulatory system diseases, the treatment effect of the APPCAP was a 34.6% and 11.5% reduction in the sample mean, respectively. The poorest socioeconomic groups and the elderly benefited the most. The stronger the goal, the more positive the effects were on health; the longer the policy intervention, the better the health outcomes were.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12584
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct


  • Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan
  • chronic health conditions
  • difference-in-differences model
  • fine particulate air pollution (PM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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