Dr. Wanxin LI

BE (ME, Tsinghua), MA (ECON, Tsinghua), MS (STAT, Virginia Tech), PhD (POLICY, Virginia Tech)
Staff title
Associate Professor

Associate Professor at School of Energy and Environment. Has worked with the World Bank, OECD and Tsinghua University in the past.

My research has been focused on policy experimentation and evaluation for advancing environmental governance and quality of life in China. In addition to the research community, my work also speaks directly to policy-makers. Single authored the OECD 2009 report entitled "Eco-innovation policies in the People's Republic of China". Being invited to speak at forums such as the Policy Dialogue with the Ministry of Environmental Protection in Beijing, the OECD International Conference on Environmental Compliance Assurance in Paris, the Trade and Environment Session of the WTO 2011 Public Forum in Geneva, and others.

Specialties: Policy design; Policy analysis and evaluation; Governance; Research methods..

Other Information

Previous Experience

  • Oct 2014 - Dec 2018, Associate Professor, Department of Public Policy, City University of Hong Kong.
  • Jan 2008 - Sep 2014, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Policy, City University of Hong Kong.
  • Jun 2006 - Dec 2007, Assistant Professor, School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University.
  • Jul 2003 - May 2006, Consultant, Development Research Group, World Bank.
  • Aug 2000 - Jun 2003, Research Assistant, Center for Public Administration and Policy, Virginia Tech.
  • Jul 1995 - Jul 2000, Director of Student Affairs, Tsinghua University.

Research Grant

  • Evaluation of the China Coal Cap Project, CIFF, ClimateWorks, and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Amount: USD $250,500, 1 Nov 2016 - 30 Jun 2018, Christine Wörlen (PI), Goerild Heggelund (Co-I), Wanxin Li (Co-I) .
  • Environmental information transparency in China: Analyzing individual, organizational and regional disparities in supply and demand, Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (RGC), Amount: HKD $569,600, Dec 2014 - Mar 2017, Wanxin Li (PI).
  • Alternative policymaking towards better campus sustainability–printing policy formulation & advocacy, City University Campus Sustainability Fund, Amount: HKD $275,825, Mar 2014 - Jun 2015, Wanxin Li (PI), Johnny Chan (Co-I).
  • Identifying, measuring and cultivating values and behaviors for sustainability among CityU students, City University Campus Sustainability Fund, Amount: HKD $380,000, Feb 2012 - Jun 2014, Wanxin Li (PI), Johnny Chan (Co-I).
  • Adopting alternative policy instruments for environmental governance during the 12th Five-Year Plan, Ministry of Environmental Protection of PRC (MEP), Amount: CNY $120,000, Sep 2010 - Dec 2011, Wanxin Li (PI).
  • Investing in social capital – How are the families and schools preparing children for productive social and civic life in Shenzhen, China, City University Start Up Grant, Amount: HKD $99,839, Jun 2009 - May 2011, Wanxin Li (PI), Maggie Lau (Co-I).
  • Mainstreaming the environment in mainland China: Commitment, drivers, agents, and implications, City University Strategic Research Grant, Amount: HKD $179,000, Jun 2009 - Jan 2011, Wanxin Li (PI), Graeme Lang (Co-I).
  • Environment-related Innovation: Eco-innovation policies in China, OECD, Amount: EUR $15,000, Jun 2008 - May 2009, Xavier Leflaive (PI), Wanxin Li (Co-I).
  • Analysis and forecasting of regional pollution distribution based on location factors and micro-analysis of firm behavior, National Science Foundation of China (NSFC), Amount: CNY $300,000, Jan 2008 - Dec 2010, Wanxin Li (PI).
  • Environmental Compliance Assurance Systems: A Cross-Country Analysis, OECD, Estimated Amount: EUR $120,000, Mar 2007 - May 2008, Eugene Mazur (PI), Wanxin Li (Co-I).
  • National Key Project for the Eleventh-Five Year Plan “Suzhou circular economy development: Technology development and application”, Ministry of Science and Technology of PRC (MOST), Amount: CNY $75,000,000, Dec 2006 - Oct 2010, Jining Chen (PI), Yiying Jin (Co-I), Wanxin Li (Co-I), Genfa Lu (Co-I), Zongguo Wen (Co-I), Jing Wu (Co-I).
  • Institutional Strategies for Sustainable Development, World Bank Institute, Amount: CNY $100,000, Oct 2006 - Dec 2007, Wanxin Li (PI).
  • Environmental Performance Country Review: China, OECD, Estimated Amount: EUR $100,000, Mar 2006 - Dec 2006, Krzysztof Michalak (PI), Wanxin Li (Co-I).
  • The Institutional Impact of Environmental Performance Information Disclosure in Developing Countries–A Case Study of China’s “Green Watch”, Urban China Research Network, Amount: USD $3,000, Feb 2004 - May 2005, Wanxin Li (PI).



  • Li, Wanxin. (January 2017). An institutional analysis of central-local relations on land use decision-making in China. Journal of China University of Geosciences (Social Sciences Edition). 17/1. 135 - 148.
  • Li, Wanxin. & Mauerhofer, Volker. (Aug 2016). Behavioral patterns of environmental performance evaluation programs. Journal of Environmental Management. 182. 429 - 435. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.07.085
  • Li, Wanxin. (Mar 2016). Failure by design - national mandates and agent control of local land use in China. Land Use Policy. 52. 518 - 526. doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2014.12.010
  • Li, Wanxin. (Sep 2015). Health implications of environmental and social resources for preadolescents in urban China. Habitat International. 50. 347 - 353. doi:10.1016/j.habitatint.2015.09.009
  • Li, Wanxin. & Lang, Graeme. (Aug 2015). Effects of green school and parents on children’s perceptions of human-nature relationships in China. Child Indicators Research. 8/3. 587 - 604. doi:10.1007/s12187-014-9265-3
  • Carlsson, Fredrik. , Lampi, Elina. , Li, Wanxin. & Martinsson, Peter. (Feb 2014). Subjective well-being among preadolescents and their parents – Evidence of intergenerational transmission of well-being from urban China. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics. 48. 11 - 18. doi:10.1016/j.socec.2013.10.003
  • Zhuo, Zihan. , Li, Wanxin. & Bai, Chongen. (Sep 2013). Has environmental governance made a difference on SO2 emissions from coal fired power plants in two bordering provinces in China? (in Chinese). China Population Resources and Environment. 23/11. 96 - 100.
  • Li, Wanxin. & Higgins, Paul. (Jan 2013). Controlling local environmental performance: An analysis of three national environmental management programs in the context of regional disparities in China. Journal of Contemporary China. 22/81. 409 - 427. doi:10.1080/10670564.2012.748961
  • Li, Wanxin. (Jan 2013). Participatory decision-making, sustainable development and the pursuit of happiness: Bhutanian experiences (in Chinese). Journal of Public Administration. 2013/1. 75 - 90.
  • Li, Wanxin. (Sep 2012). Advocating environmental interests in China. Administration & Society. 44/6s. 26 - 42. doi:10.1177/0095399712460079
  • Li, Wanxin. & Li, Duoduo. (May 2012). Environmental information transparency and implications for green growth in China. Public Administration and Development. 32/3. 324 - 334. doi:10.1002/pad.1626
  • Li, Wanxin. , Liu, Jieyan. & Li, Duoduo. (Mar 2012). Getting their voices heard: Three cases of organizing for environmental protection. Journal of Environmental Management. 98. 65 - 72. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2011.12.019
  • Li, Wanxin. & Lau, Maggie. (Mar 2012). Interpersonal relations and subjective well-being among preadolescents in China. Child Indicators Research. 5/4. 587 - 608. doi:10.1007/s12187-012-9137-7
  • Li, Wanxin. (Sep 2011). Engaging with the climate change regime: China’s challenges and activities. The China Monitor. 66. 4 - 9.
  • Li, Wanxin. (Jun 2011). Self-motivated vs. Forced disclosure of environmental information in China—A comparative case study of the pilot disclosure programs. The China Quarterly. 206. 331 - 351. doi:10.1017/S0305741011000294
  • Lau, Maggie. & Li, Wanxin. (May 2011). The extent of family and school social capital promoting positive subjective well-being among primary school children in Shenzhen, China. Children and Youth Services Review. 33/9. 1573 - 1582.
  • Li, Wanxin. , Leflaive, Xavier. , Li, Duoduo. & Zhang, Jingjing. (Mar 2010). Eco-innovation policies in China (in Chinese). Science Focus. 2. 10 - 26.
  • Li, Wanxin. (Sep 2009). Small but effective moves towards a greener China. Nature. 460/7256. 683 - 684.
  • Li, Wanxin. & Chan, Hon S. (Feb 2009). Clean air in urban China: The case of inter-agency coordination in Chongqing’s Blue Sky Program. Public Administration and Development. 29/1. 55 - 67. doi:DOI: 10.1002/pad.501
  • Li, Wanxin. & Zusman, Eric. (Aug 2006). Translating regulatory promise into environmental progress: Institutional capacity and environmental regulation in China. Environmental Law Reporter: News & Analysis. 36/8. 10616 - 10623.
  • Li, Wanxin. (Jul 2006). Environmental governance: Issues and challenges. Environmental Law Reporter: News & Analysis. 36/7. 10505 - 10525.


  • OECD(2009). Eco-Innovation Policies in the People’s Republic of China. Paris:  OECD Publishing (single authored by Wanxin Li).

Book Chapter

  • Li, Wanxin. , Zusman, Eric. , Chen, Jining. & Menikpura, Nirmala. (Fall 2016). Generation and Distribution of Waste Management Co-benefits in Suzhou, China. Urbanization and Climate Co-Benefits: Implementation of win-win interventions in cities. (pp. 204 - 211). London. Routledge. 978-1138953444.
  • Harrison, Nick. , Levy, Kelly. , Li, Wanxin. , Allen, Ashley. , Boyd, Anya. , Dane, Anthony. , Musingi, John Kioko. , Singh, Amrikha. , Talberth, John. , Webb, Jeremy. & Woerlen, Christine. (Jun 2014). Chapter 9: Monitoring and evaluation. Green growth best practice: Lessons from country experiences. (pp. 213 - 228). Seoul. Global Green Growth Institute.
  • Li, Wanxin. (Feb 2014). Specific operational mechanisms and practices for public participation in environmental planning and assessments. EU-China Environmental Governance Programme. Beijing.
  • Li, Wanxin. (Nov 2013). Environmental monitoring and reporting in China. EU-China Environmental Governance Programme. Beijing.
  • Li, Wanxin. , Grimm, Sven. & Esterhuyse, Harrie. (Sep 2013). China-Africa cooperation: Joint engagement in adaptation to changing climate. Climate Change and Global Governance: International Regimes in a Changing Environment. (pp. 529 - 547). Germany. Nomos Publishers.
  • Li, Wanxin. , Liu, Jieyan. & Li, Duoduo. (Feb 2013). Public participation in environmental protection in China. Social Issues in China: Gender, Ethnicity, Labor, and the Environment. (pp. 291 - 309). New York. Springer.
  • Li, Wanxin. (Oct 2012). Environmental governance. Towards a China environmental performance index. Beijing. Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning.
  • Li, Wanxin. & Michalak, Krzysztof. (Sep 2007). Environmental compliance and enforcement in China. The Compliance Handbook: Technology, Finance, Environmental, and International Guidance plus Best Practices. (pp. 379 - 390). New Jersey. John Wiley & Sons.

External Services

Public Service

  • 2012 - Now, Secretary General, World Alliance for Low Carbon Cities.Finland & China.
  • 2011 - Now, Advisory Board, Professional Association for China’s Environment.China.
  • 2009 - Now, China Steering Committee, R20 Regions of Climate Action.Switzerland.
  • 2006 - Now, Advisory Board, EcoLinx Foundation.U.S.A..

Professional Activity

  • 2012 - Now, Refree, National Research Foundation of South Africa.South Africa.
  • 2010 - Now, Refree, National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC).China.
  • 2009 - Now, Editorial Board, Journal of Public Administration.


Service in CityU

Administrative Assignment

  • 2015 - 2018, Departmental Staffing Committee, Member.
  • 2015 - 2018, Environmental Policy Programme, Major Director.
  • 2015, Programme Validation Panel (PVP), School of Veterinary Medicine, Member.
  • 2013 - 2018, Student Mentor Program, Coordinator.
  • 2012 - 2018, Student Exchange Program, Coordinator.
  • 2009 - 2012, Student Internship Program, Coordinator.

Research / Thesis Supervision

  • 2012 - 2018, Master in Economics.
  • 2011 - 2018, Bachelor in Environmental Policy.
  • 2006 - 2018, PhD in Public Policy.

Teaching Service

  • 2013 - 2018, Undergraduate, POL2605: Research Methods for Environmental Policies.
  • 2010 - 2018, Undergraduate, POL3238: Introduction to Environmental Policy and Governance.
  • 2008 - 2013, Undergraduate, POL3203: Policy Analysis and Evaluation.

Conferences Attended

  • 4 Mar 2014 - 5 Mar 2014, invited presentation @ 1st Global Conference of PAGE (Partnership for Action on Green Economy) after Rio+20 – Progress and Prospects, United Arab Emirates.
  • 26 Nov 2013, invited presentation @ EU-China Environmental Governance Programme: Policy Dialogue, China.
  • 3 Jun 2013 - 4 Jun 2013, invited presentation @ Green Growth Knowledge Platform’s Practitioners' Workshop: Building Pathways to Greener Growth, Indonesia.
  • 18 Mar 2013, invited presentation @ International workshop on “Public Participation in Environmental Matters in East Asia: multifaceted perspectives”, Japan.
  • 26 Jul 2012 - 27 Jul 2012, Symposium on Co-benefits in Urban Asia, Japan.
  • 17 May 2012, invited presentation @ Greening China and her relations with Africa – Environmental sustainability in Sino-African cooperation, FOCAC and beyond, South Africa.
  • 20 Sep 2011, invited presentation @ WTO 2011 Public Forum, Trade and Environment Session, Encouraging Innovation and the Deployment of Environmental Technologies, Switzerland.
  • 9 Dec 2010 - 10 Dec 2010, invited presentation @ International Workshop “Promoting National Coherence of Environmental Enforcement in China”, China.
  • 20 Aug 2010 - 21 Aug 2010, Seventh Annual East Asian Social Policy research network (EASP) International Conference, Korea.
  • 3 Nov 2009 - 6 Nov 2009, Environment for Development 3rd Annual Conference, Kenya.
  • 12 Oct 2009 - 13 Oct 2009, invited presentation @ China Conference on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data Management in Energy Intensive Industries and the Power Sectors, China.
  • 17 Nov 2008 - 18 Nov 2008, invited presentation @ International Conference Environmental Compliance Assurance: Trends and Good Practices, France.
  • 19 Jun 2008 - 20 Jun 2008, International Conference Health and Environment, France.
  • 24 May 2008 - 25 May 2008, Workshop on Globalization and Environmental Governance, Taiwan.
  • 27 Jun 2007 - 30 Jun 2007, 15thAnnual Meeting of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE 2007), Greece.
  • Apr 2006, Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference 2006, U.S.A..
  • Jan 2005, Annual Conference of Urban China Research Network — Chinese Cities in Transition, China.

Call for Collaboration

  • Individual consumption motivations and behaviors

    Current CityU free printing policy lends a good opportunity for conducting field experiments on individual paper consumption behaviors. Every CityU student gets 1,600 sheets of A4 size printing paper for free for an academic year. What factors do students take into consideration in making decisions on paper consumption? Using paper carelessly may be because the free printing quota has been treated as one's private property. Saving paper may be because such deeds are good for the environment or are just out of one's habit. Seems like some interesting hypotheses can be formulated and tested. You are welcome to get in touch if you find the opportunity to conduct field experiment valuable and offering a good chance of producing quality academic output.

  • Environmental information transparency in China

    The supply of and demand for environmental information transparency in China has not been well understood. Individual officials, firm managers, investors, the general public, and NGOs all play an important role in this. They are motivated and constrained by their own cognitive and affective capacities as well as the professional, institutional, and social contexts in which they work and live. Thus, this project presents a good opportunity to break new grounds in establishing linkages between research across individual, organizational, and regional levels as well as across different disciplines such as psychology, decision science, law, and institutional economics. Of course, research methodology will need to be discussed and explored. You are welcome to get in touch if you find the topic interesting.

Staff Image
Contact Information
Office: YEUNG-B5434
Phone: +(852)-3442-9651
Fax: +(852)-3442-0688
Email: wanxin.li@cityu.edu.hk
Web: ResearchGate page

Time slots for consultation

Research Interests
  • Policy design
  • Policy experimentation
  • Information transparency
  • Environmental and social governance
  • Subjective well-being
  • Inequality