Human Capital Investment and Firms' Industrial Emissions: Evidence and Mechanism


讲座时间:2020年10月28日  14:00- 15:30pm




While previous studies have intensively demonstrated the negative impact of pollution on human capital, few studies have explored the opposite: whether and how the investment in human capital affect pollution? In this paper, we empirically examine the effect of human capital improvement on firms' industrial emissions. We exploit an expanded college enrollment program in China which resulted in a surge in college-educated workers and use a difference-in-difference (DD) strategy to deal with identification. We rely on a unique firm-level dataset that contains comprehensive information about firms' emission records. We find that the investment in human capital significantly and substantially reduces firms' emissions, and the underlying channels are from firms' industrial upgrading, use of cleaner energy during the production process and educated works improved compliance to environmental regulation. This paper documented an important but unanticipated benefit of human capital improvement.


Dr. Hong Song is an Associate Professor at School of Economics, Fudan University. Before joining Fudan, She obtained PhD degree in Economics from National University of Singapore in 2017 and a bachelor degree in Economics from Fudan University in 2013. Her research interest is in Labor Economics and Public Economics, with a focus on human capital, education and health. Her paper published in leading journals such as Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Population Economics and other leading Chinese journals.