"Political Business Cycles and Environmental Performance” Quynh Nguyen (Wyss Academy for Nature of the University of Bern)
Quynh Nguyen (Wyss Academy for Nature of the University of Bern) will present "Political Business Cycles and Environmental Performance."
This study examines the environmental impact of political business cycles in Vietnam's one-party regime, where elections mainly serve as a tool of upward accountability. Pressured to demonstrate economic performance to their political higher ups, local politicians use their discretionary power to sidestep environmental regulations to achieve economic growth at critical times with detrimental environmental consequences. Based on satellite-based measurements of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) for each electoral district of the Vietnam National Assembly (VNA) over three electoral cycles, we find evidence indicating the existence of an environmental political business cycle (EPBC). Merging this data with socio-demographic information of VNA members and firm-based panel data, we find that EPBC trends vary with the intensity of local officials' connection to central-level political leaders and businesses, respectively. However, findings from the latest VNA cycle suggest increased attention toward environmental goals, reflecting a shift in the policy prioritization of Vietnam's central political leadership.