Selected Publications

We have systematically explored the patterns, trends, and main characteristics of China’s ecommerce by relying on data on JingDong’s online sales. One of the most interesting findings is that China’s online consumer spending is positively correlated with regional income. In addition, people’s online consumer spending behavior exhibits regional heterogeneity and age cohort heterogeneity. People in the east region exhibit the strongest online consumer spending capacity. Finally, the most popular products sold online at JD are cell phones, followed by food and beverages, makeup and cosmetics, digital products, and lifestyle and travel goods.
Mandel and Haughwout - Handbook of U.S. Consumer Economics, 2018

This paper explores the nature of factional competition under authoritarian regime using novel data from China. Employing news reports in Chinese national and local newspapers from 2000 to 2014, coupled with elite network data, we provide empirical evidence that national leader’s political power affects connected public official’s competitive behavior against one another. We find that provincial leaders connected to powerful national leaders are more likely to promote negative news about officials linked to weaker national leaders. These negative reports indeed harm the promotion prospects of reported-on province leaders, weakening the already weak factions. Our analyses show that factional competition in China has a tendency of power dominance, rather than power balancing or sharing, suggesting that informal competition among factions does not lead to stable power-sharing outcomes.
Working Paper, 2017

This paper examines whether the media under server government control still could carry out the function of government accountability. We measure the capacity of accountability by the effect of media coverage on the political turnover of local cadres in China. In specific, we are using the number of deaths in a coal mine accident and its relative newspaper coverage to proxy for the severity of the case itself and its social influence. We find that media exposure of safety accidents decreases the possibility of cadres’ turnover. This effect is more substantial when the news reports come from the media out of the cadres’ control. Our finding suggested there is remaining space of accountability, even for the most censored media. We also proposed the hierarchical structure of media control system creates considerable discretion for media, which, though limited, makes it a non-ignorable power in China’s promotion system.
Working Paper, 2017



The R Package of Panel Data Approach for Program Evaluation.

Invited & Upcoming Talks

The Data Analytics Boot Camp
The 2nd China Public Finance Forum
Annual Conference of Chinese Association of Quantitative Economics
16th ZEW Summer Workshop for Young Economists


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