Peng Zhang

School of Accounting and Finance
M507C Li Ka Shing Tower
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hung Hom Kowloon, Hong Kong


NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2018Temperature and High-Stakes Cognitive Performance: Evidence from the National College Entrance Examination in China
with Joshua S. Graff Zivin, Yingquan Song, Qu Tang: w24821
We provide the first nation-wide estimates on temperature effects on high-stakes cognitive performance in a developing country using data from the National College Entrance Examination (NCEE) in China. The NCEE is one of the most important institutions in China and affects hundreds of millions of families. We find that a one-standard-deviation increase in temperature (3.29° C) decreases the total test score by 1.12% (9.62% of a standard deviation) and decreases the probability of getting into first-tier universities by 1.97% (4.38% of a standard deviation). This suggests that temperature plays an important role in high-stakes cognitive performance and has potentially far-reaching impacts for the careers and lifetime earnings of students.
June 2018Air Pollution and Mental Health: Evidence from China
with Shuai Chen, Paulina Oliva: w24686
A large body of literature estimates the effect of air pollution on health. However, most of these studies have focused on physical health, while the effect on mental health is limited. Using the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) covering 12,615 urban residents during 2014 – 2015, we find significantly positive effect of air pollution – instrumented by thermal inversions – on mental illness. Specifically, a one-standard-deviation (18.04 μg/m3) increase in average PM2.5 concentrations in the past month increases the probability of having a score that is associated with severe mental illness by 6.67 percentage points, or 0.33 standard deviations. Based on average health expenditures associated with mental illness and rates of treatment among those with symptoms, we calculate that these effec...
November 2017The Effect of Air Pollution on Migration: Evidence from China
with Shuai Chen, Paulina Oliva: w24036
This paper looks at the effects of air pollution on migration in China using changes in the average strength of thermal inversions over five-year periods as a source of exogenous variation for medium-run air pollution levels. Our findings suggest that air pollution is responsible for large changes in inflows and outflows of migration in China. More specifically, we find that independent changes in air pollution of the magnitude that occurred in China in the course of our study (between 1996 and 2010) are capable of reducing floating migration inflows by 50 percent and of reducing population through net outmigration by 5 percent in a given county. We find that these inflows are primarily driven by well educated people at the beginning of their professional careers, leading to substantial ch...
Temperature Effects on Productivity and Factor Reallocation: Evidence from a Half Million Chinese Manufacturing Plants
with Olivier Deschenes, Kyle C. Meng, Junjie Zhang: w23991
This paper uses detailed production data from a half million Chinese manufacturing plants over 1998-2007 to estimate the effects of temperature on firm-level total factor productivity (TFP), factor inputs, and output. We detect an inverted U-shaped relationship between temperature and TFP and show that it primarily drives the temperature-output effect. Both labor- and capital- intensive firms exhibit sensitivity to high temperatures. By mid 21st century, if no additional adaptation were to occur, we project that climate change will reduce Chinese manufacturing output annually by 12%, equivalent to a loss of $39.5 billion in 2007 dollars. This implies substantial local and global economic consequences as the Chinese manufacturing sector produces 32% of national GDP and supplies 12% of globa...

Published: Peng Zhang & Olivier Deschenes & Kyle Meng & Junjie Zhang, 2017. "Temperature Effects on Productivity and Factor Reallocation: Evidence from a Half Million Chinese Manufacturing Plants," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, . citation courtesy of

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