Latest Research Publications
In the Media
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.
Journal of Public Economics
Accessibility of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations is an important factor for adoption of EV, which is an effective green technology for reducing carbon emissions. Recognizing this, many governments are contemplating ideas for achieving EV adoption targets, such as constructing extra EV charging stations directly or offering subsidies to entice automakers to construct more EV charging stations. To achieve these targets, governments need to coordinate with automakers to ensure that the total number of charging stations is planned optimally. We study this coordination problem by considering the interactions among the government, automakers, and consumers, our equilibrium analysis yields three major results. First, both the government and the automaker should build extra EV charging stations when their construction costs are independent. Simultaneously, the government should offer a per-station subsidy to the automaker only when the adoption target and the construction cost are both high. However, when the construction costs are dependent, the government should delegate the construction to the automaker by offering a per-station subsidy. Second, when the government considers consumer purchase subsidy as an extra lever, we find that the purchase subsidy for consumers is more cost-effective than offering a per-station subsidy to the automaker. Third, the structure of the optimal government policy remains the same regardless of whether the government's goal is to improve EV adoption or consumer welfare. Our results can serve as guidelines for governments when contemplating coordination with automakers for the construction of EV charging stations to improve EV adoption as well as consumer welfare further.
Production and Operations Management
Emergency department (ED) overcrowding and long patient wait times have become a worldwide problem. We propose a novel approach to assigning physicians to shifts such that ED wait times are reduced without adding new physicians. In particular, we extend the physician rostering problem by including heterogeneity among emergency physicians in terms of their productivity (measured by the number of new patients seen in 1 hour) and by considering the stochastic nature of patient arrivals and physician productivity. We formulate the physician rostering problem as a two-stage stochastic program and solve it with a sample average approximation and the L-shaped method. To formulate the problem, we investigate the major drivers of physician productivity using patient visit data from our partner ED, and find that the individual physician, shift hour, and shift type (e.g., day or night) are the determining factors of ED productivity. A simulation study calibrated using real data shows that the new scheduling method can reduce patient wait times by as much as 13% compared to the current scheduling system at our study ED. We also demonstrate how to incorporate physician preference in scheduling through physician clustering based on productivity. Our simulation results show that EDs can receive almost the full benefit of the new scheduling method even when the number of clusters is small.
Production and Operations Management
Jian Zhang from the HKU Business School along with authors from the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, INSEAD in Singapore and the PBC School of Finance at Tsinghua University, helped to advance understanding of this phenomenon in their recent paper, called Air Pollution, Behavioral Bias, and the Disposition Effect in China. The team studied how air pollution can affect mental health by intensifying a certain type of cognitive bias observed in financial markets.
19 May 2022
Take the recent study by Chen Lin and Mingzhu Tai from the HKU Business School, conducted with collaborators from the University of California, Berkeley and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Their paper addressed a fundamental worry for almost everyone during the pandemic: Money. Specifically, they examined how people in the U.S. saved money in response to COVID-19.
14 April 2022
In their study “Do multinationals transfer culture? Evidence on female employment in China”, published in the Journal of International Economics in July 2021, authors Heiwai TANG and Yifan ZHANG show that MNC practices do impact the behaviour of local companies, and the outcome is a positive impact on the productivity of local companies.
14 April 2022
While computer languages may sound alien to economics, I aim to showcase that good programming skills are conducive not limited to economic research, it can also open up endless career possibilities for you in the business world.
31 Jan 2022
As a teacher, I will push myself to understand the expectations of local employers' and the market dynamics of Hong Kong.
18 Jan 2022
As a science person, I am impressed by our students' strong business acumen. But as a teacher, other than teaching them how to use quantitative tools to make scientific claims, I also hope that I can encourage them to continue to stay inquisitive about the world and apply their classroom knowledge for the betterment of the society.
5 Jan 2022
Professor Yulin Fang is a seasoned scholar, professional case writer, veteran IT consultant, and editor for several internationally renowned journals. Seeing HKU Business School as a supernova in the academic landscape, Professor Fang is keen to contribute his intellectual might on digital innovation and transformation to our School’s journey of excellence. Joining us in September 2021, Professor Fang will be leading our School’s newly formed research centre, the Institute of Digital Economy and Innovation (IDEI).
30 Mar 2022
Aspired to make a difference than making a fortune, Dr. Zhepeng Li is dedicated to propel the development of information systems and machine learning technologies.
16 Mar 2022
「環境、社會及管治」（Environmental, Social, and Governance；簡稱ESG）近年成為全球熱門話題。近日環球金融市場備受時局動盪影響，市民因受「息誘」，對綠色債券趨之若鶩，但對其背後意義及對經濟的影響，到底有多少認識？
11 May 2022
For global investors trying to gauge the fallout from surging interest rates and slowing economic growth, Hong Kong is quickly emerging as a must-watch market. Perhaps nowhere else is as exposed to two of the biggest worries roiling global asset prices -- the Federal Reserve’s rapidly tightening monetary policy and China’s sputtering economy.
13 May 2022