2016 CHPAMS Rising Scholar Best Paper Award

It is our pleasure to announce that the winner of 2016 CHPAMS Rising Scholar Best Paper is granted to "The effect of air pollution on mortality in China: Evidence from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games", authored by Drs. Guojun He, Maoyong Fan, and Maigeng Zhou.

CHPAMS established the Rising Scholar Best Paper Award in November 2016 to recognize outstanding peer review publications authored by CHPAMS members who are in their early career stage (either current students or within five years since receiving their last academic degrees). The application for the 2016 Award was open from November 2016 to January 2017. We received eight highly qualified applications, published by CHPAMS members in China, Hong Kong, The Netherland, and U.S.  A six-member Award Committee (see list below) completed a thorough review of all applications and selected the winner for the first CHPAMS Best Paper Award.

The winning paper, "The effect of air pollution on mortality in China: Evidence from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games", estimates the causal effect of air pollution on mortality in China in a quasi-experimental design. The paper exploits exogenous variations in air quality during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and, compares the air pollution levels and health outcomes between cities that were regulated with cities that were not regulated before, during and after the Olympic Games. The paper reports that a 10% decrease in PM10 concentrations reduces the monthly standardized all-cause mortality rate by 8%. The age groups for which the air pollution effects are greatest are children under 10 years old and the elderly. The estimates generated from this quasi-experiment are substantially larger than the associational estimates, suggesting that previous studies may under-estimate the health impacts of air pollution. The findings also imply that tighter environmental regulations can lead to significant health improvement in China. The paper was published on the September 2016 issue of Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, a leading journal in environmental economics.  

The winning paper’s lead author, Dr. Guojun He, is an economist working on environmental, health and development issues. He is an assistant professor appointed jointly at Division of Social Science, Division of Environment and Department of Economics at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). Before joining HKUST, he was a research fellow at Harvard School of Public Health and obtained his Ph.D. degree from University of California, Berkeley. His current research focuses on understanding the complex relationship between economic development, environment, and human health from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Congratulations to Drs. Guojun He, Maoyong Fan, and Maigeng Zhou!

Lead Author, Dr. Guojun HE

2016 Best Paper Award Committee

·      Dr. Feijun Luo, U.S. CDC*
·      Dr. Lu Shi, Clemson University
·      Dr. Marie Ng, IBM Watson Health; CHPAMS’s Director of Academics
·      Dr. Xuesong Han, American Cancer Society; CHPAMS’s Director of Membership
·      Dr. Zhehui Luo, Michigan State University
·      Dr. Zheng (Jane) Li, U.S. CDC*; CHPAMS’s Secretary

* Drs. Feijun Luo and Zheng (Jane) Li are serving in their personal capacities