"Preschool and Child Health: Evidence from China’s Universal Child Care Reform"

Published at Economics of Education Review. Download here


Early childhood education programs have been found to effectively promote children's social and cognitive development. However, the health impact of these programs is less understood. Using a quasi-experiment of the first universal child care reform in China from 2010, this paper aims to identify whether the preschool reform produces any short-term effects on health-related outcomes of preschoolers (3-6 years old). Specifically, this reform expands access to affordable preschools that provide full-day center-based education, with school meals and essential health services on campus. I exploit the variation in the number of newly established preschools across provinces and implement difference-in-differences and triple-difference strategies. Results confirm the effectiveness of this reform by showing a strong and positive impact on preschool attendance. This paper then documents the benefits to alleviating underweight among preschoolers. Estimates show a larger effect in rural areas, suggesting that the reform narrows rural-urban disparities in education access and undernutrition prevention. I also explore the impact on caregivers’ health consciousness and find improved health-seeking behavior when children get sick.

“Gender Wage Gap, Bargaining Power, and Charitable Giving of Households”, with So Yoon Ahn 

Forthcoming at Journal of Political Economy: Microeconomics. Download here


We study how the relative wages of women (to those of men) affect the charitable giving patterns of married couples in the US. Using Bartik-style wage measures for men and women, we find that when relative female wages increase, the share of total charitable giving out of family income increases. Moreover, the share of charitable giving to religious organizations, which are preferred by women, increases when labor market conditions become more favorable to women. Our results are consistent with household bargaining explanations, and we provide additional supportive evidence. As a robustness check, we examine the impacts of the negative gender-specific shocks to manufacturing in Autor et al. (2019) and find similar results. 

Working Papers

Is Health Insurance a Barrier to Women's Entrepreneurship? Evidence from State Infertility Insurance Mandates in the United States” 

Revise and Resubmit, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Download here 


One in seven couples in the United States experiences infertility. Despite improved medical technology to treat infertility problems, infertility treatments remain prohibitively expensive. I study the effects of infertility insurance mandates in the United States on women's entrepreneurship, exploiting state-level policy changes that require employer-sponsored health insurance plans to cover infertility treatments. Using a triple difference estimation strategy and data from the March Current Population Survey, I find that women of later childbearing age (30-45) are less likely to be self-employed as a result of the mandates. Further investigation shows a larger effect for women lacking alternative health insurance coverage through a spouse. My results provide evidence of entrepreneurship lock, implying that a tightened link between health insurance and wage-and-salary employment could discourage entrepreneurship.

Work In Progress

“Physician Visits to Street Hunt: Unintended Consequences of Hydrocodone Rescheduling”, with Damien Dong


Since early 2010, the fastly rising number of overdose deaths from illicit drugs including heroin and fentanyl has raised wide debate on effectiveness of contemporary supply-side policy interventions restricting access to prescription opioids. Meanwhile, the mechanism connecting reduced prescription opioids in the legal sector and increased usage of illicit drugs on black market remains unclear. We document the increase in street market purchases as a potential transitional phase to illicit drugs. Leveraging hydrocodone component products (HCPs) rescheduling in 2014 as a quasi-experimental negative shock to prescriptions supply, we find substantial increase in HCPs purchase on the street market following the policy. We find weak impacts on total drug overdose deaths and pain management quality following the policy, suggesting that intended welfare gain may be offsetted by damage to marginal populations heavily dependent on HCPs. Policy makers should note the limited effectiveness of similar supply-side interventions in absence of complementing efforts to reduce patients' demand.