Guojun He
Dr. Guojun He
Management and Strategy
Associate Director, Institute of China Economy
Associate Professor

3917 7729

KK 903

Academic & Professional Qualification
  • 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)
Selected Publications
  • 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.
Recent Publications


Guns and Roses: Police Complicity in Organized Prostitution

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.

港大研究:內地抗疫措施顯成效 非新冠死亡下降4.6%


Researching for the Betterment of Environmental Protection and the Civilian Wellbeing – Dr. Guojun He

“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.”

Researching for the Betterment of Environmental Protection and the Civilian Wellbeing – Dr. Guojun He

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.