FASS Staff Profile


6516 4876

Brief Introduction


  • Ph.D University of Western Ontario, Canada, 1999
  • B. Eng. Northern Jiaotong University, Beijing, 1986

Academic and Professional Experience

  • 2008-present Associate Professor, Department of Economics, National University of Singapore.
  • 2015-2016 Visiting professor, Department of Economics, University of Western Ontario.
  • 2008-2009 Visiting scholar, Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan.
  • 1999-2008 Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, National University of Singapore.
  • 1998-1999 Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of New South Wales.

Teaching Areas

  • Labor Economics
  • Health Economics
  • Mathematical Economics

Graduate Supervision

Advisor to Ph.D students:

  1. Li, Li (2008-2013)
  2. Jiang, Wei (2008-2015)
  3. Yang, Songtao (2011-2016)
  4. Yang, Wanyu  (2012-2017)
  5. Poco, Camille Ranoa Louisa (2018-)

Current Research

I: Environmental Economics and Socioeconomic Outcomes

  1. “Environment-Enhanced Momentum and the Demand for Environmental Quality” (Joint with Alberto Salvo and Jingfeng Lu, NUS Economics)
  2. “Discounting over the Very Long Run: Evidence from Singapore’s Property Market” (Joint with Eric Fesselmeyer and Alberto Salvo, NUS Economics)

II: Intergenerational Mobility and Family economics

  1. "Common Demographic and Education Trends but Opposite Fertility Differentials: Mechanics and Observations on Brazil and
    Indonesia" (Joint with Jie Zhang)
  2. "Does Inequality Really Increase the Degree of Assorttive Mating? Evidence from Multi-country Census" (Joint with Wei Jiang)
  3. "The intergenerational effect of building new schools".

III: Others

  1. "Changes in Gender Earnings Gap in China: Causes and Implications"
  2. "Labor Tournament with Sabotage: on Equilibrium, Optimal Design and Experimental Evidence" (Joint with Jingfeng Lu, Yohanes E. Riyanto and Zhe Wang)

Research Interests

Labor and Enviromental Economics, Chinese Economy and Applied Microeconomics



  • Working papers:

    1. "Labor Tournament with Sabotage: on Equilibrium, Optimal Design and Experimental Evidence" (Joint with Jingfeng Lu, Yohanes E. Riyanto and Zhe Wang) 
    2. "How Do Households Discount over Centuries? Evidence from Singapore‘s Private Housing Market" (Joint  with Eric Fesselmeyer and Alberto Salvo, NUS Economics) http://ftp.iza.org/dp9862.pdf
    3. "Non-labor income and the age of marriage: Evidence from China’s heating policy" (Joint  with Junhong Chu, and I.P.L. Png, NUS Business School) http://ftp.iza.org/dp11754.pdf
    4. "Superstition, Conspicuous Spending, and Housing Markets: Evidence from Singapore" (Joint with  Sumit Agarwal, Jia He, I. P. L. Png, Tien Foo Sing, Wei-Kang Wong)  http://ftp.iza.org/dp9899.pdf
  • Journal Articles:​

    1. Air Pollution as a Determinant of Food Delivery and Related Plastic Waste,” (with J. Chu and A. Salvo Nature Human Behaviour,
    2. Severe Air Pollution and Labor Productivity: Evidence from Industrial Towns in China, (with J. He and A. Salvo) AEJ: Applied Economics (2019), 11 (1), 173-201
    3. Non-labor income and the age of marriage: Evidence from China’s heating policy, (with Junhong Chu, and I.P.L. Png) Demography (2018), 55 (6), 2345-2370
    4. Superstition, Conspicuous Spending, and Housing Markets: Evidence from Singapore, (with Jia He, Tien Foo Sing, Changcheng Song and Wei Kang Wong) Management Science, (2019), 1-22.
    5. Severe Air Pollution and Child Absences When Schools and Parents Respond (with Alberto Salvo) Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, (2018),  92, 300-330
    6. How Much Do Users Value a Network Expansion? Evidence from the Public Transit System in Singapore. (with Eric Fesselmeyer), Regional Science and Urban Economics, 2018, vol 71, p.  46-61.
    7. The quantity–quality fertility–education trade-off, 2015, IZA World of Labor
    8. Is there a quality-quantity tradeoff: Evidence from the relaxation of China’s one-child policy, Journal of Population Economics, 2014, vol. 27, no. 2, p.565-602. Won the 2015 Kuznet Prize.
    9. Primary School Availability and Middle School Education in Rural China, (with Li Li) Labour Economics, 2014, vol. 28, p. 24-40.
    10. Dynamic pricing in the Singapore condominium market, (with Eric Fesselmeyer) Economics Letters, 2014, vol. 124 no.1 p.147- 150.
    11. Economic Reforms and Gender Inequality in Urban China, Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2011 vol. 59, no. 4 p. 839-876.
    12. Genetic Ability and Intergenerational Earnings Mobility (with Jinli Zeng) Journal of Population Economics, 2009, vol. 22 no. 1 p. 75-95.
    13. Ownership of Property-Rights and the Allocation of Talents, (with Yohanes E. Riyanto) Applied Economics, 2009, vol. 41, no. 26, p. 3425-3436.
    14. The Impact of Women's Power on Child Quality in Rural China, China Economic Review, 2008 vol 19, no. 1 p. 101-15.
    15. Donations Revisited in A Recursive Dynamic Model, (with Jie Zhang) Canadian Journal of Economics 2008, vol 41, no. 2 p. 564-82.
    16. Determinants of Long-Run Unemployment, (with Jinli Zeng) Southern Economic Journal, 2008 vol. 19, no. 1 p. 775-93.
    17. Airline Passenger Fatality and the Demand for Air Travel, (with Jinli Zeng) Applied Economics, 2007, vol. 39, no. 14, p. 1773 - 1781.
    18. Measuring the Degree of Assortative Mating, (with Jingfeng Lu) Economics Letters, 2006 vol. 92, no 3, p. 317-322.
    19. The Evolution of the Graduation-Publication Process, (with Cheolsung Park) Economics of Education Review, 2004 vol. 23, no. 5, 519-531.
    20. A Cross-Country Comparison of the Cyclicality of Real Wages, Canadian Journal of Economics, 2003 vol. 36, no. 4, 923-948.
    21. The Role of Mobility in Offsetting Inequality: A Nonparametric Exploration of the CPS, (with Catherine De Fontenay and Tue Gørgens) Review of Income and Wealth, 2002 vol. 48, no. 3, 347-370.
    22. Marginal Income Tax Rates in the United States: A Nonparametric Approach, (with Hafiz Akhand) Journal of Monetary Economics, 2002 vol. 49, no. 2, 383-404.
    23. Measuring the Income Inequality from Tax Returns. (with Hafiz Akhand) Singapore Economic Review, vol. 45, no. 2, 183-193.
    24. Income Inequality in the United States: What the Individual Tax Files Say? (with Hafiz Akhand) Applied Economics Letters, 2002, vol. 9, no. 4, 255-259.
    25. Business Cycle Models, Aggregation, and Real Wage Cyclicality, (with Audra Bowlus and Chris Robinson) Journal of Labor Economics, 2002, vol. 20, no. 2, 308-335

Writing In The Popular Press 


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