Ruixue Jia

School of Global Policy and Strategy
University of California at San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive #0519
La Jolla, CA 92093
Tel: 858/534-5969

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
NBER Program Affiliations: POL
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Institutional Affiliation: University of California at San Diego

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2020Can Technology Solve the Principal-Agent Problem? Evidence from China’s War on Air Pollution
with Michael Greenstone, Guojun He, Tong Liu: w27502
We examine the introduction of automatic air pollution monitoring, which is a central feature of China’s “war on pollution.” Exploiting 654 regression discontinuity designs based on city-level variation in the day that monitoring was automated, we find that reported PM10 concentrations increased by 35% immediately post–automation and were sustained. City-level variation in underreporting is negatively correlated with income per capita and positively correlated with true pre-automation PM10 concentrations. Further, automation’s introduction increased online searches for face masks and air filters, suggesting that the biased and imperfect pre-automation information imposed welfare costs by leading to suboptimal purchases of protective goods.
January 2020The Economic Consequences of Political Hierarchy: Evidence from Regime Changes in China, AD1000-2000
with Ying Bai: w26652
We argue that China, with its long history, a relatively stable political system, and multiple regime changes, provides us an opportunity to investigate the political economy of administrative hierarchy. Using prefecture-level panel data and exploiting regime changes during AD1000-2000, we find that gaining and losing importance in the political hierarchy led to the rise and decline of different prefectures (measured by population density and urbanization). Moreover, political hierarchy shapes regional development via both political and market channels (reflected by public employment and transportation networks). More broadly, our study serves as new evidence on how politics shapes economic geography and offers a context to understand changes in economic activity location in the long run.
August 2019Power and Publications in Chinese Academia
with Huihua Nie, Wei Xiao: w26215
In power-oriented societies, academia may not be immune to the influence of power. This paper studies the power-publication link by applying an event-study strategy to a panel dataset of the publication and biographical information of deans of economics schools in Chinese universities. We find that (i) deanship increases an individual’s publication by 0.7 articles per year; (ii) the increased publications stem from work coauthored with other researchers within the same university; (iii) the topics of the increased publications are more likely to deviate from the deans’ research area prior to becoming deans; and (iv) the power effect is smaller for top universities and leading journals, and for scholars with more pre-dean publications. These patterns appear consistent with the role of power...

Published: Ruixue Jia & Huihua Nie & Wei Xiao, 2019. "Power and publications in Chinese academia," Journal of Comparative Economics, .

June 2019Individual vs. Social Motives in Identity Choice: Theory and Evidence from China
with Torsten Persson: w26008
The same government policy that incentivizes individuals to make a certain choice can have different effects across groups due to the existence of social norms. In this paper, we study how Chinese ethnic policies that give material benefits to minorities affect ethnicity choices for children in ethnically mixed marriages. We document that, on average, such policies increase the propensity of choosing minority status for the children. Meanwhile, responses to the same policies differ widely across localities, suggesting that social norms may be important. We formalize the ethnic identity choice in a simple framework, which highlights the interaction of material benefits stemming from the ethnic policies, identity costs associated with breaking the norms of following the father's ethnicity, a...

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