Subjective performance evaluation could induce influence activities: employees might devote too much effort to pleasing their evaluator, relative to working toward the goals of the organization itself. We conduct a randomized field experiment among Chinese local civil servants to study the existence and implications of influence activities. We find that civil servants do engage in evaluator-specific influence to affect evaluation outcomes, partly in the form of reallocating work efforts toward job tasks that are more important and observable to the evaluator. Importantly, we show that introducing uncertainty about the evaluator's identity discourages evaluator-specific influence activities and improves bureaucratic work performance.
- Ph.D. UC Berkeley
- B.A. Peking University
Guojun He is an economist working on environmental, development, and governance issues. He is now an associate professor in Economics at the University of Hong Kong. He holds a concurrent appointment at the University of Chicago’s interdisciplinary Energy Policy Institute (EPIC) and serves as the research director of its China center (EPIC-China).
He’s research tries to address some of the most challenging problems faced by developing countries and seeks to produce empirically-grounded estimates for optimal policy design. The majority of his work focuses on understanding the benefits and costs of environmental policies.
- Environmental Economics
- Applied Econometrics (Causal Inference)
- He, Guojun and Takanao Tanaka. “Energy Saving May Kill: Evidence from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident,” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, forthcoming.
- de Janvry, Alain, Guojun He, Elisabeth Sadoulet, Shaoda Wang, and Qiong Zhang. “Subjective Performance Evaluation, Influence Activities, and Bureaucratic Work Behavior: Evidence from China,” American Economic Review, 2023, 113(3): 766-99.
- Fan, Maoyong and Guojun He. “Clean Water and Infant Health: Evidence from Piped Water Provision in China,” Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, 2023 10(1), 159-193.
- He, Guojun and Wenwei Peng. “Guns and Roses: Police Complicity in Organized Prostitution,” Journal of Public Economics, 2022, 207: 104599.
- Greenstone, Michael, Guojun He, Ruixue Jia, and Tong Liu. “Can Technology Solve the Principal-Agent Problem? Evidence from China’s War on Air Pollution,” American Economic Review: Insights, 2022, 4(1): 54-70.
- Greenstone, Michael, Guojun He, Shanjun Li, and Eric Yongchen Zou. “China’s War on Pollution: Evidence from the First 5 Years,” Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, 2021, 15(2): 281-299.
- He, Guojun, Shaoda Wang and Bing Zhang. “Watering Down Environmental Regulation in China,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2020, 135(4): 2135-2185.
- He, Guojun, Yuhang Pan, and Takanao Tanaka. “The Short-term Impacts of COVID-19 Lockdown on Urban Air Pollution in China,” Nature Sustainability, 2020, 3: 1005-1011.
- He, Guojun, Yang Xie, and Bing Zhang. “Expressways, GDP, and the Environment: The Case of China,” Journal of Development Economics, 2020, 145: 102485.
- He, Guojun, Tong Liu, and Maigeng Zhou. “Straw Burning, PM2.5 and Death: Evidence from China,” Journal of Development Economics, 2020, 145: 102468.
- He, Guojun, Maoyong Fan, and Maigeng Zhou. “The Winter Choke: Coal-Fired Heating, Air Pollution, and Mortality in China,” Journal of Health Economics, 2020, 71: 102316.
- Cheung, Chun Wai, Guojun He, and Yuhang Pan. “Mitigating the Air Pollution Effect? The Remarkable Decline in the Pollution-Mortality Relationship in Hong Kong,” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 2020, 101: 102316.
- He, Guojun and Shaoda Wang. “Do College Graduates Serving as Village Officials Help Rural China?” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2017, 9(4): 186-215.
- Ebenstein, Avraham, Maoyong Fan, Michael Greenstone, Guojun He and Maigeng Zhou. “New Evidence on the Impact of Sustained Exposure to Air Pollution on Life Expectancy from China’s Huai River Policy,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2017, 114(39): 10384-10389.
- He, Guojun, Maoyong Fan, and Maigeng Zhou. “The Effect of Air Pollution on Mortality in China: Evidence from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games,” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 2016, 79: 18-39.
- He, Guojun and Jeffrey M. Perloff. “Surface Water Quality and Infant Mortality in China,” Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2016, 65(1): 119-139.
- Ebenstein, Avraham, Maoyong Fan, Michael Greenstone, Guojun He, Peng Yin, and Maigeng Zhou. “Growth, Pollution, and Life Expectancy: China from 1991-2012,” American Economic Review (P&P), 2015, 105(5): 226-231.
- Co-editor of the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management
- Co-editor of China Economic Review
Police complicity in organized crime is not uncommon, yet it is extremely difficult to examine empirically. Using unique sex transaction data from China, we show that police can be complicit in organized prostitution. Specifically, we document that sauna houses and massage parlors with greater neighborhood police density are likely to be “protected” by police and thus can host higher-risk, higher-penalty sex business. The complicity effect is particularly salient during periods of local prostitution crackdowns, implying selective enforcement. Changes in local leadership and visits of the central government’s discipline teams can attenuate the complicity effect.
“Environmental economics has become a hot topic recently, so I am very honoured to be entrusted by the Faculty’s management to be a pioneer in this field. Through education, I hope I can also open a new research area for aspiring young scholars to join the academia.”
Dr. Guojun He is an economist specialised in environmental economics and development economics. Grasping the opportunity to spearhead the line of research related to environmental and economic policies in HKU, Dr. He had officially joined us in July 2021 as an Associate Professor in Economics.