speaker Bohui Zhang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen time Wednesday, 4 March, 10:00-11:30 am Beijing Time
place Microsoft Teams Online conference room

Finance Online Seminar2020-02)

Topic: Brain Drain: The Impact of Air Pollution on Firm Performance

Speaker: Bohui Zhang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen

Time: Wednesday, 4 March, 10:00-11:30 am Beijing Time

Location: Microsoft Teams Online conference room


We hypothesize that firms located in more polluted areas are less able to recruit and retain quality human capital. First, using Baidu’s Search Volume Index, we document that people exhibit an intention to look for jobs in less polluted areas on days when air pollution occurs in the area where they are located. Second, exploiting the exogenous variation in air pollution caused by China’s central heating policy, we show that air pollution reduces the accumulation of executive talent and high-quality employees. This brain drain effect is more pronounced when people have concerns about their health triggered by air pollution. Third, firms located in polluted areas have poorer performance. This effect is more pronounced when firm performance has a greater dependence on human capital.


Bohui Zhang is the presidential chair professor of finance at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, the associate director of Shenzhen Finance Institute, the director of the Center for FinTech and Social Finance.

He is also the professor of finance at UNSW Business School, UNSW Sydney, and the associate director of the Institute of Global Finance (IGF). He studies FinTech, the media, Chinese capital market, and international capital markets. His papers have been accepted for publication in the global top-tier finance, accounting, and business journals such as the Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Accounting Research, Management Science, Journal of Financial Quantitative and Analysis, Journal of International Business Studies, Review of Finance, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Corporate Finance, Journal of Financial Markets, and Journal of International Money and Finance.

He has also been awarded with research grants from Australian Research Council, the Centre for International Finance and Regulation, Australian School of Business, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and best paper prizes from MIT Asia Conference in Accounting, the Annual Conference on Asia-Pacific Financial Markets of the Korean Securities Association, the Chinese Finance Association Best Paper Symposium, the China Finance Annual Meeting, the Asian Finance Association Conference, China International Conference in Finance, and the Northern Finance Association Conference.

Your participation is warmly welcomed!

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