Hello, welcome to Zhiwen's website!

Zhiwen is PhD student at Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh. Previously, he worked as a researcher assistant at the Center for Family and Population Research, National University of Singapore. He received a Master by Research degree at NUS Business School. 

Research fields:

Health Economics (Economics of risky health behaviors)

Labor Economics (Determinants of labor performance)

Climate Economics (Climate change and China agriculture)

Research Highlights

Nutrition, Labor Supply, and Productivity:
Evidence from Ramadan in Indonesia

Working Hours

(Fasting Worker v.s. Non-Fasting Worker)

  • Fasting salespersons work 35 minutes less  during a fasting day, relative to their non-fasting colleagues.

Sales Amount 

(US$, Fasting Worker v.s. Non-Fasting Worker)

  • The productivity of fasting salespersons declined by 30% during 2 hours before sunset.

  • Their productivity recovers immediately after sunset, when they can eat.

The Effects of Alcohol Consumption on Health, Crimes, and Socio-economic Outcomes:
Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Finland

Part A. The policy: the deregulation in travelers’ alcohol import in Finland

In 1995, the Finnish government increased the quota on travelers’ tax-free alcohol import. Further, they abolished the duration requirement that a trip much last for more than 24 hours to bring in tax-free alcohol.

Part B. Significant impacts on travelers' alcohol import and alcohol consumption.

  • Plot a, the number of travelers crossing Finnish border with Estonia and Russia (where the alcohol price is less than 1/10 of that in Finland) increased by 84% (3.6 million).

  • Plot b, the travelers’ alcohol import increased by 194%, driving a 12% increase in total alcohol consumption per capita in Finland.

Part C. Significant impacts on Health, Crimes, and Socio-economic Outcomes in Closer Area

  • Panel a, the increased availability of tax-free alcohol in Finish municipalities closer to the border crossings (less than 2-hour travel time v.s. more than 5-hour travel time) increased the prevalence of epilepsy and asthma significantly by 3.1% and 2.9%, but it decreased coronary heart disease by 4.4%.

  • Panel b, alcohol consumption has detrimental effects on economy (employment dropped by 2.3%), human capital (vocational education decreased by 0.8%), and social capital (voter turnout went down by 5.4%).

  • Panel c, alcohol consumption endangers personal security (assault and manslaughter surged by 28% and 17%) and property security (aggravated property damage rose by 53%).