Hi! My name is Xing Chen(陈醒). I am an assistant professor at School of International Relations and Public Affairs at Fudan University. I obtained my PhD in Environmental Economics from Peking University, the top 1 university in China, where I also received my bachelor degree in Environmental Science. My advisor was Professor Jintao Xu from National School of Development. Additionally, I was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley from 2017 to 2018, supervised by the esteemed environmental economist, Peter Berck.
My experience at Shanghai ignited my interest in Political Science and Public Administration, despite my formal education background not being in these fields. However, through diligent self-study, currently I am working on topics including Public Opinion, Environmental Politics, and Political Economy, with the regional focus on China. I use applied econometrics to uncover the role of information, trauma experience, and cultural norms in shaping political attitudes and decision making.
Please find my school website here, ssrn here, and Google Scholar here.
- 2020-present, Assistant professor, School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University
- PhD in Environmental Economics, Peking University, 2020
- Visiting scholar, UC Berkeley, 2017-2018
- B.S.in Environmental Science, Peking University, 2015
- Chen, Xing, Jiaheng Ling, and Hanchen Jiang. 2023. “Addressing multitasking problems through promotion incentives: An empirical study of local governments in China.” Public Performance & Management Review, forthcoming [ssrn].
- Chen, Xing, Xuan Wang, Tianyang Xi, and Jintao Xu. 2023. “Estimating the CO2 Marginal Abatement Cost and Implications for Climate Policies in China’s Industrial Sector: A Firm-Level Analysis.” China Economic Journal 16(2): 217–39.[link][PDF]
- Chen, Xing, and Jintao Xu. 2018. “Carbon Trading Scheme in the People’s Republic of China: Evaluating the Performance of Seven Pilot Projects.” Asian Development Review 35(2): 131–52.[link][PDF]
- Subsidy Crisis and Large-Scale Curtailment of Wind and Solar Power in China关于中国风电和光伏发电补贴缺口和大比例弃电问题的研究, International Economic Review, 2018, (4): 67-85+6.(in Chinese)[link][PDF]
- Land Reform, Emerging Grassroots Democracy and Political Trust: Evidence from China’s Collective Forest Tenure Reform (First author with Yuanyuan Yi, Jintao Xu and Andong Zhuge). submitted.[ssrn] [CCER讨论稿][slides]
This study explores how the application of democratic rule in land reform decision-making process determines villagers’ political trust towards different levels of the cadres in rural China. Based on analyses of a two-period household survey, we find that in China’s most recent Collective Forest Tenure Reform, the use of democratic rule improves villagers’ trust for town and county cadres, whereas the impact on trust towards village cadres is only significant for the highest democraticness that involves mass participation. This pattern of trust is partly explained by that the democratic process helped decrease the unresolved inter-village forestland disputes which usually requires town or county level cadres’ intervene, whilst there seems no such impact on the within-village land disputes. Heterogeneity analyses show that democratic decision-making has a more pronounced effect in improving trust for villagers with lower income, and those without affiliation with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) or to the village committee. Our results provide the first evidence that Chinese people perceive democracy not only as a way to select their leaders, but also ways for ordinary people to participate in public affairs and present their opinions in decision-making process to influence local cadres’ accountability.
- Pollution Matters: The Political Cost of Information Disclosure (First and Corresponding author with Xiaoxiao Shen and Andong Zhuge). Revise and resubmit, [ssrn][slides]
This study firstly examines the causal effect of environmental information disclosure on political trust and then provides a possible psychological mechanism through which the effect occurred. Exploiting the staggered rolled-out implementation of a national program in China that provides real-time air-pollution information to the public, we find that air pollution adversely moderates the positive effect of information disclosure on political trust. Notably and surprisingly, this “adverse moderation” was more pronounced for less polluted area. Heterogeneity analysis showed that the adverse moderation is more pronounced among urban residents using Internet. Furthermore, we established that the causal effect operated through the channels of citizens’ mental well-being, demonstrated by a large and statistically significant increase in the risk of mild depression due to heightened concern over environment issues.
- From Scarcity to Surge: The Impact of Childhood Famine Trauma on Fiscal Expenditure Efficiency (Corresponding author with Andong Zhug). [ssrn][slides]
This study delves into the understudied nexus between officials’ personal trauma experiences and their fiscal decision-making, with a particular emphasis on childhood famine experiences and the inclination toward fiscal conservatism. Using data from Chinese cities spanning 2008 to 2018, we find that officials imprinted with childhood famine trauma demonstrate a significant increase in Year-End Spending Spikes (YESS), a phenomenon characterized by a rush to exhaust surplus budgets at year end due to “use it or lose it” budget rule. This behavior correlates with a decrease in both GDP growth rate and fiscal efficiency. Furthermore, the imprint effect is pronounced among officials who endured famine between ages 3 to 8, suggesting a critical window of impressionable years. Moreover, working in cities less reliant on financial transfers, and extensive local networks accentuate this effect. We further explore the psychological mechanisms, highlighting a correlation between mild depression and fiscal behavior, thus providing new insights into the profound and enduring effects of early trauma on public financial management.
- Learning Through Infection: Public Opinion Dynamics during China’s COVID Policy (First author with Jiakun Zheng, Jianhua Xu and Yana Jin).
This study investigates the dynamics of public opinion concerning the transition from zero-COVID policy to live-with-COVID policy, using data from a two-wave panel survey conducted in August 2022 and January 2023 in China. We find substantial support for zero-COVID initially (79.42%), which remained notable (45.73%) post-policy relaxation. Sociodemographic factors generally showed limited influence on policy support, with the exception of iOS users, indicating a distinct information sources. Additionally, a clear alignment between public policy preferences and individuals' perceived personal cost and benefit of the two contradicting policies, indicating active public engagement. Notably, personal COVID-19 infection experiences, particularly severe cases, significantly increased preferences for stringent zero-COVID policy. This research sheds light on the relationship between public health policy and public attitudes during a pandemic.
Working in Progress
- The Voice of Extravagance, with Renji Zhou
- Relocation to Boosting, with Jianzi He and Jiayu Ma.
- Happy without accountability，with Xiaoxiao Shen
- E-Government, with Hanchen Jiang
- Coordinated environmental regulation, with Juan Du
- Xing Chen, Jun Fu, Jintao Xu: “Building Carbon Market in China: Take Stock and Look Ahead”, Climate Mitigation and Adaptation in China: Policy,Technology and Market. Springer. 2022.[link]
- Review of the Progress of China’s Carbon Trading Pilots,” Chapter 5 of China Low Carbon Economic Development Report 2017(in Chinese)[link]
- Identifying the problems of China’s wind power and photovoltaic power generation subsidy policies,” Chapter 3 of Study on Subsidy Policies for Wind Power and Photovoltaic Power Generation in China(in Chinese).[link]
Fundings and Projects
- Study on Renewable Energy Electricity Price Subsidy and Price Formation Mechanism. China Renewable Energy Scale-Up Program Phase II, NDRC & CRESP (the World Bank)[link]
- BHP-PKU Carbon Capture, Use and Storage Research[link]
At Fudan University, I have a lot of joy teaching quantitative methods and causal inference courses at various levels and sometimes received incredibly high teaching evaluation scores. At Peking University, I taught graduate-level microeconomics for international students.
Instructor at Fudan University
- Research Methods in Social Science: POLI620041. Student evaluations: 99.76/100.[slides]
Graduate Course. This course will prepare newly admitted graduate students for other quantitative analysis courses offered in the Politics/Public Administration department and elsewhere. Students will learn basic probability and statistics, as well as programming using Stata. Course is equivalent to intermediate econometrics, covering cross-sectional data analysis.
- Quantitative research methods in public administration: POLI630112. Student evaluations: 99.64/100.[slides]
Graduate Course. An advanced course covering panel data analysis, as well as techniques for causal inference and empirical strategy, including Difference-in-difference(DID), instrumental variable method (IV), regression discontinuity design(RDD), and synthetic control methond (SCM). Using data from published journal articles, students will learn how to clean data, create graphs and tables, and conduct basic statistical analysis.
- Principles of Economics: POLI130004. Student evaluations: 93.1/100.[slides]
Undergraduate Course. An introduction course to core concepts and theories of economics for newly admitted undergrads at Fudan.
- Quantitative Research Method: POLI130173. Student evaluations: 89.76/100.
Undergraduate Course. An introduction course covering basic statistical analysis.
- Environmental policy and management: POLI130226. Student evaluations: 92.44/100.
Undergraduate Course. This course provides an overview of China's environmental governance since 2000. By introducing the microeconomic foundations of environmental policies, analyzing China's pollution control efforts, and examining the impacts of environmental regulation, this course aims to equip students with the knowledge about the policy design and implementation in addressing future environmental challenges.
- Performance Evaluation in Public Sector: POLI130114. Student evaluations: 95.87/100.
Undergraduate Course. An introductory course for causal inference and policy evaluation techniques in the context of China governance.
- Public Economics:MPA630060, MPA course
- Performance evaluation and strategic management: MPA course. Student evaluations: 99.55/100
Teaching Assistant at Peking University
Conference and Invited talks
- 2023: China Economics Annual Conference; Political Science Speaker Series (virtual)
- 2021: CCER Summer Institute
- 2019: China Economics Annual Conference; The 8th Congress of the East Asian Association of Environmental and Resource Economics
- 2018: The 6th World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists, Gothenburg, Sweden
- 2017: Asian Development Review Conference, Seoul, Korea
World Development, China Economic Quarterly, Journal of Chinese Political Science, Chinese Political Science Review，Global Public Policy and Governance
Third prize for excellent papers in China Public Administration Annual Conference (2023), Peking University Outstanding Research Award(2019)
- Undergraduate Students: Renji Zhou (MA, U Michigan), Xintian Wang (MA, Fudan)
- Master Students: Jiaheng Ling (PhD, Tsinghua), Andong Zhuge (PhD, Fudan)
- I’m currently looking for a part-time research assistant. Please send me an email if you are interested.
- Language: English (Fluent); Chinese (Native)
- Software: Stata, MATLAB, ArcGIS, LaTeX
- Miscellaneous: Hiking, Piano, Astrology, Bilibili Content Creator