NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Tom Chang

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June 2016The Effect of Pollution on Worker Productivity: Evidence from Call-Center Workers in China
with Joshua Graff Zivin, Tal Gross, Matthew Neidell: w22328
We investigate the effect of pollution on worker productivity in the service sector by focusing on two call centers in China. Using precise measures of each worker’s daily output linked to daily measures of pollution and meteorology, we find that higher levels of air pollution decrease worker productivity by reducing the number of calls that workers complete each day. These results manifest themselves at commonly found levels of pollution in major cities throughout the developing and developed world, suggesting that these types of effects are likely to apply broadly. When decomposing these effects, we find that the decreases in productivity are explained by increases in time spent on breaks rather than the duration of phone calls. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate th...
February 2014Particulate Pollution and the Productivity of Pear Packers
with Joshua S. Graff Zivin, Tal Gross, Matthew J. Neidell: w19944
We study the effect of outdoor air pollution on the productivity of indoor workers at a pear-packing factory. We focus on fine particulate matter (PM2.5), a harmful pollutant that easily penetrates indoor settings. We find that an increase in PM2.5 outdoors leads to a statistically and economically significant decrease in packing speeds inside the factory, with effects arising at levels well below current air quality standards. In contrast, we find little effect of PM2.5 on hours worked or the decision to work, and little effect of pollutants that do not travel indoors, such as ozone. This effect of outdoor pollution on the productivity of indoor workers suggests a thus far overlooked consequence of pollution. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that nationwide reductions in PM2.5 fr...

Published: Tom Chang & Joshua Graff Zivin & Tal Gross & Matthew Neidell, 2016. "Particulate Pollution and the Productivity of Pear Packers," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, vol 8(3), pages 141-169. citation courtesy of

July 2013Physician Agency and Competition: Evidence from a Major Change to Medicare Chemotherapy Reimbursement Policy
with Mireille Jacobson, Joseph P. Newhouse, Craig C. Earle, M.D.: w19247
We investigate the role of physician agency and competition in determining health care supply and patient outcomes. A 2005 change to Medicare fees had a large, negative impact on physician profit margins for providing chemotherapy treatment. In response to these cuts, physicians increased their provision of chemotherapy and changed the mix of chemotherapy drugs they administered. The increase in treatment improved patient survival. These changes were larger in states that experienced larger decreases in physician profit margins. Finally while physician response was larger in more competitive markets, survival improvements were larger in less competitive markets.
December 2010Natural Disaster Management: Earthquake Risk and Hospitals' Provision of Essential Services in California
with Mireille Jacobson
in Regulation vs. Litigation: Perspectives from Economics and Law, Daniel P. Kessler, editor

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

 
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