Selected Publications

We have systematically explored the patterns, trends, and main characteristics of China’s e-commerce 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

How does the media help hold politicians accountable in countries with competitive elections has been well studied. However, whether and how media could discipline nonelected officials remain unclear. In this paper, I examine the effect of negative news coverage on political selection in China. To be specific, I evaluate how news reports on fatal coal mine accidents influence local politicians’ likelihood of promotion. I find media coverage, rather than the coal mine accident itself, decreases the possibility of prefectural party secretaries’ promotion. This effect is more substantial when the coverage comes from non-local media. My results suggest that even with top-down assignments system, there is bottom-up publicity-induced accountability in China. By informing the public, the decentralized media serve as a check to the principle. It not only informs but also enforces the supervisor to sanction subordinates with misconduct. I also propose that the pyramidic bureaucracy and economic decentralization are the necessary conditions of the publicity-induced accountability in autocratic country like China.
Working Paper, 2017



The R Package of Panel Data Approach for Program Evaluation.

Invited & Upcoming Talks

Innovative Uses of Data and Methods in the Study of China
SDSI Data Science Lab
2019 Asian Meeting of the Econometric Society
The Data Analytics Boot Camp
Annual Conference of Chinese Association of Quantitative Economics


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  • Social Sciences Building, Room 351, UCSD, California, 92093, USA
  • Wednesday 9:00 to 10:50 or email for appointment