Working Papers​

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

(with Zihan Hu; 2019)

Abstract: We find immediate, adverse effects of nutrition deficiency on labor supply and productivity among non-physical workers. Using high-frequency data from an Indonesian retailer, we exploit the nutrition shock induced by Ramadan fasting. Our event-study approach shows a 30% decrease in productivity for Muslim salespersons during the two hours before sunset, when they experience the most energy deficiency. Their productivity recovers immediately after sunset, when they break their fast. They leave work 32 minutes earlier during the hours of the greatest energy deficiency. The effects are consistent with the nutrition mechanism and are not likely driven by major competing explanations. 

Presentation: NEUDC, ASHEcon, WEAI, Cornell U, Peking U, Beijing Normal U

Slides: PDF

Manuscript: PDF at SSRN

The Effects of Alcohol Consumption on Health, Crimes, and Socio-economic Outcomes

(with Sumit Agarwal and Jussi Keppo; 2019)

Abstract: Alcohol has been used for personal consumption and socializing for thousands of years. The past literature has documented the correlation between alcohol consumption, diseases, crimes, and some socio-economic outcomes. However, the correlational evidence appears inconsistent, and the causality is not yet well established. Moreover, there are little systematic causal estimates on alcohol harms using a full population sample. Here we fill these gaps by utilizing the deregulation in travelers' tax-free alcohol import in Finland 1995. After the deregulation, the travelers' alcohol import increased by 194%. We show some evidence indicating that alcohol consumption increased more significantly in Finnish municipalities closer to the border crossing points. By comparing close municipalities with far municipalities, we find that the increased availability of tax-free alcohol: (i) increased the prevalence of epilepsy by 2.9% and asthma by 3.1%, and decreased coronary heart disease by 4.4%, while it did not significantly affect diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and hypertension; (ii) it reduced employment rate by 2.3%, voter turnout by 5.4%, and vocational education by 0.8%, but there were no significant impacts on higher education, young women's pregnancies, and suicide; (iii) impulsive crimes such as assault, aggravated property damage, and manslaughter surged significantly by 28.5%, 53.1%, and 17.3%, respectively, yet premeditated crimes like murder, theft, and fraud remained unchanged. Our findings have significant implications on public policy debates on alcohol consumption and the associated health, social, and economic cost. 

Presentation: NUS, InaHEA, AASLE, WEAI (Scheduled)

Slides: PDF

Manuscript: PDF will be available online soon


Works in Progress​

Sunset, Sleep Deprivation, and Labor Performance in the Workplace

(with Jussi Keppo and Hongchao Zhao; 2019)

Abstract: About one third of the working population fail to get enough sleep. Yet, how sleep deprivation affects workers’ performance is less known. In this paper, we obtain administrative data on salespersons from a large Indonesian retailer. We first find that a one-hour delay in sunset time decreases sleep duration by approximately 35 minutes. We then show that later sunset increases the absence rate of salespersons significantly. But their hours staying in a workday do not change. Instead, they loaf more time that their actual working hours decrease. We also find that later sunset reduces productivity significantly. Their productivity decreases the most during the morning and gradually recovers after a lunch break. The effects of sunset are in line with the sleep deprivation mechanism. The results on productivity is not likely driven by the change in demand.


The Morale and Incentive Effects of Promotion Fairness on Labor Performance

(with Zihan Hu; 2019)

Grant Under Review

Climate Change, Agricultural Production, Food Security, and Food Safety.

(Co-PI with Alberto Salvo and Junjian Yi; SG$ 338,336; The Singapore Millennium Foundation Grant; 2020-22.)