Impact of Lockdown on Air Pollution: Evidence from the “2+26” Cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region

Jialu Wei, Fuxing Chen, Min LU


To prevent the spread of COVID-19 in China, many cities were locked down after January 23, 2020. Based on the panel data of the “2+26” cities from 10 January to 15 March 2020, this paper took the lockdown as a quasi-natural experiment and established a multi-phase DID model to investigate whether the lockdown measures significantly reduced air pollution in locked-down cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) region. The core innovation of this paper is that we considered the urban immigration scale index as a mediating variable , which is rarely adopted in the existing literature, and we identified the relationships between the lockdown, the intracity migration index, the urban immigration scale index and air pollution. The results showed that compared with the non-locked-down cities, the lockdown significantly reduced air pollution. Furthermore, it was found that the lockdown reduced air pollution by reducing intracity migration and the urban scale of immigration. Moreover, compared with the corresponding period in 2019, air pollution was significantly reduced in the locked-down cities of the “2+26” cities. Air pollution is closely related to human activity, and green production and technological innovations are critical for reducing air pollution in the BTH region.

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