Why invest in wind energy? Career incentives and chinese renewable energy politics

Xun Cao, Andrew Kleit, Chuyu Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We study wind development at the provincial level in China, modelling installed wind capacities as a function of both economics and politics. We assume that the top provincial officials desire to maximize their chances of promotion under the Chinese cadre evaluation system. We expect that those with the strongest incentives to perform in order to achieve promotion would work harder to comply with the central government's policy agenda to promote renewable energy. Collecting and testing data on provincial leaders’ characteristics, we find that provinces governed by party secretaries who were approaching the age of 65 are associated with significantly higher level of wind installed capacities. This result supports the political tournaments theory of Chinese politics. We also find that better educated party secretaries are likely to be more supportive of renewable energy, implying that education acts to encourage provincial leaders to support the central government's policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-131
Number of pages12
JournalEnergy Policy
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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