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Joint Seminar
Environmental Regulation and Firm-Level Productivity: A Regression Discontinuity Design

Prof. Guojun He

Assistant Professor of Division of Social Science, Division of Environment and Sustainability, and Department of Economics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Date :
9 May, 2017 (Tuesday)
Time :
11:00 – 12:30
Venue :
IPP meeting room (Room 4611, Lift 31-32)
Co-organizer :
Department of Economics, Division of Social Science and HKUST Institute of Public Policy


This study estimates the causal effect of environmental regulation on Chinese firms’ productivity in a regression discontinuity design. We compare the TFP levels between upstream and downstream firms that are spatially adjacent to water quality monitoring stations, and find that upstream polluting firms’ TFP is 26.7% lower than their downstream counterfactual. Private firms and old firms suffer most from tighter pollution control. The estimated TFP loss is about 1.73%–2.42% for a 10% abatement in chemical oxygen demand (COD) emissions.


About the Speaker

Prof. Guojun He is an economist working on environmental, health and development issues. He is an assistant professor appointed jointly at Division of Social Science, Division of Environment and Sustainability, and Department of Economics at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). Before joining HKUST, he was a research fellow at Harvard University and obtained his Ph.D. degree from University of California, Berkeley. 

His current research focuses on understanding the complex relationship between economic development, environment, and human health from an interdisciplinary perspective. His papers has been published on economics journals such as American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, Economic Development and Cultural Change, and Journal Environmental Economics and Management, and scientific journals such as, The British Medical Journal and Environmental Research. He won several best paper rewards, including Gregory Chow Best Paper Award from the Chinese Economists Society in 2015, and the Best Paper Award from China Health Policy and Management Society in 2016. 

For speaker's full CV, please click here.

HKUST Institute for Public Policy