Hello, welcome to Steve's website!

Steve is an economics researcher at the Center for Family and Population Research, National University of Singapore (NUS). Previously, he received his training in empirical economic research and dynamic programing at NUS Business School. 

Research fields:

Health Economics

(primarily the economics of unhealthy behaviors)

Labor Economics

(primarily  determinants of labor performance at work)

Research Highlights

Nutrition, Labor Supply, and Productivity:
Evidence from Ramadan in Indonesia
  • The labour supply of fasting salespersons decreased by 35 minutes on average each working day during Ramadan (shaded area) relative to their non-fasting colleagues.

  • The productivity of fasting salespersons declined by 30% during 2 hours before sunset, when they did not eat for around 12 hours. Their productivity recovers immediately after sunset, when they can eat again.

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.

  • As estimated, the travel distance to the nearest border crossing points decreased by one standard deviation:

  • the domestics alcohol sales reduced by 5%, since increased crossing border purchase of  alcohol;

  • the drunken driving cases raised by 10%, indicating alcohol consumption increased.

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 crossing points (less than 2 hour v.s. more than 5 hours) 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 can have 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 can endanger personal security (assault and manslaughter surged by 28% and 17%) and property security (aggravated property damage rose by 53%).