Guojun He is an assistant professor in the Division of Social Science, Division of Environment & Sustainability, and Department of Economics at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). He is a faculty affiliate of HKUST's Institute for Emerging Market Studies and Institute for Public Policy. He holds a concurrent appointment at the Energy Policy Institute of the University of Chicago (EPIC) and serves as the research director of EPIC-China.
Prof. He tries to address some of the most challenging problems faced by developing countries and seeks to produce theoretically sound and empirically grounded research for optimal policy design. The majority of his work focuses on understanding the benefits and costs of environmental quality, while he also has a broader research interest in development and governance issues. [Read More]
Cost of Water Quality Regulation
Using a spatial RD design implicit in China’s water quality monitoring system, our QJE paper estimates that China’s water regulation efforts between 2000 and 2007 could cause an economic cost of more than 800 billion Chinese yuan.
Expressways, GDP, and Environment
This JDE paper shows that expressway connection helps poor counties grow faster in GDP while slowing down growth in rich counties, and it deteriorates the environmental quality in poor counties while improving the environmental quality in rich counties.
Can the Air Pollution Effect Be Mitigated?
The air pollution effect has dramatically decreased over the past two decades in HK. This JEEM paper shows that a well-functioning medical system and immediate access to emergency services can help mitigate the effects of pollution.
Straw Fires Cause Deaths
Farmers burn straws after harvest. This JDE paper shows that this seasonal straw burning activities significantly raise PM2.5 and cause Chinese people to die. Subsidizing straw recycling can significantly improve social welfare.
Huai River Policy and Life Expectancy
China's winter heating system generates large amounts of hazardous emissions and significantly deteriorates air quality in Northern China. This PNAS study shows that sustained exposure to air pollution shortened the life expectancy of northern Chinese people.
Better Bureaucracy Helps the Poor
The Chinese government hires thousands of college graduates and sends them to rural villages in which they serve as village officials. This AJE:Applied paper shows that these college graduate village officials can help the poor households.