NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Qu Tang

Jinan University
601 Huangpu Avenue West
Guangzhou
China

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Jinan University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2019The Unintended Impacts of Agricultural Fires: Human Capital in China
with Joshua S. Graff Zivin, Tong Liu, Yingquan Song, Peng Zhang: w26205
The practice of burning agricultural waste is ubiquitous around the world, yet the external human capital costs from those fires have been underexplored. Using data from the National College Entrance Examination (NCEE) and agricultural fires detected by high-resolution satellites in China during 2005 to 2011, this paper investigates the impacts of fires on cognitive performance. To address the endogeneity of agricultural fires, we differentiate upwind fires from downwind fires. We find that a one-standard-deviation increase in the difference between upwind and downwind fires during the exam decreases the total exam score by 1.42 percent of a standard deviation (or 0.6 point), and further decreases the probability of getting into first-tier universities by 0.51 percent of a standard deviati...
July 2018Temperature and High-Stakes Cognitive Performance: Evidence from the National College Entrance Examination in China
with Joshua S. Graff Zivin, Yingquan Song, Peng Zhang: w24821
We provide the first nation-wide estimates on temperature effects on high-stakes cognitive performance in a developing country using data from the National College Entrance Examination (NCEE) in China. The NCEE is one of the most important institutions in China and affects hundreds of millions of families. We find that a one-standard-deviation increase in temperature (3.29° C) decreases the total test score by 1.12% (9.62% of a standard deviation) and decreases the probability of getting into first-tier universities by 1.97% (4.38% of a standard deviation). This suggests that temperature plays an important role in high-stakes cognitive performance and has potentially far-reaching impacts for the careers and lifetime earnings of students.
 
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