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]
Can the Air Pollution Effect Be Mitigated?
The air pollution effect has dramatically decreased over the past two decades in HK. Our analysis 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. We show that this seasonal straw burning activities significantly raise PM2.5 and cause Chinese people to die. Subsidizing straw recycling can significantly improve social welfare.
The Winter Choke in China
We show that turning on the winter heating system significantly deteriorated air quality and caused more people to die. Exploratory cost-benefit analysis suggests that replacing coal with natural gas for heating can 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 study shows that sustained exposure to air pollution shortened the life expectancy of northern Chinese.
Beijing Olympics, Air Pollution, and Mortality
Beijing's 2008 Olympic Games provided an ideal natural experiment to estimate the causal impact of air pollution on health. Our analysis shows that the air quality improvement during the Olympics significantly reduced mortality.
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. Our study shows that these college graduate village officials can help the poor households.