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Title: Water pollution and administrative division adjustments: a quasi-natural experiment in Chaohu Lake, China
Authors: Li, Jing
Liu, Di
Cai, Mengyuan
Keywords: Social sciences::Economic development
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Li, J., Liu, D. & Cai, M. (2022). Water pollution and administrative division adjustments: a quasi-natural experiment in Chaohu Lake, China. PloS One, 17(3), e0257067-.
Journal: PloS one 
Abstract: Administrative division adjustments, such as agglomerations, upgrading, and revocation, introduce a series of uncertain impacts on the social and economic development in administrative regions. Previous studies have focused more on the economic effects of administrative division adjustments, but in this paper, we also consider the environmental effects of such adjustments. In 2011, with the approval of the State Council, the prefecture-level Chaohu city was officially revoked, resulting in a county-level Chaohu city. One district and four counties under the jurisdiction of the original Chaohu city were placed under the jurisdiction of Hefei, Wuhu, and Ma'anshan. This adjustment made Chaohu Lake an inner lake of Hefei city. The administrative division adjustment of Chaohu Lake, China, is used as a quasi-natural experiment to explore the influence of such an adjustment on pollution control. The synthetic control method (SCM) is used in this study to evaluate the effect of the administrative division adjustment on the water quality indicators of Chaohu Lake. The following conclusions are drawn. First, after the administrative division adjustment, some water quality indicators, such as ammonia nitrogen, improved; however, other major pollution indicators, such as chemical oxygen demand (COD) and dissolved oxygen (DO), worsened to varying degrees. Second, the results reveal that improper development ideas, excessive industrial expansion, and the shift in economic growth and environmental goals were problems after the adjustment. Returning to the original intention of the administrative division adjustment, rationalizing the Chaohu Lake management system and designing a sound and feasible accountability mechanism are fundamental measures for reducing pollution.
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0257067
Schools: School of Social Sciences 
Rights: © 2022 Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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