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Tyler Cowen

How China Beats the U.S. at Clean-Air Progress

Americans were pretty rich before they tackled pollution. Poorer Chinese are already doing it.
Looking on the sunny side.

Looking on the sunny side.

Photographer: WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images

As Beijing and more than 20 other cities in northern China have been plunged into another winter air-pollution crisis, with choking, toxic air and many people afraid to wander outside, observers wonder when China will start making significant progress on this problem. But there is some good news, namely that when it comes to clean air improvements, China probably is ahead of the historic pace of the U.S. at a comparable stage of economic development.

QuickTake Choking China