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Yining Zhu
Job Market Candidate
Fields: Labor Economics, Microeconomics




Welcome! I am an economics PhD candidate at Columbia University. I will be on the job market in AY 2021-22. My research fields are applied microeconomics and environmental economics. My job market paper studies how ambient temperature affects officer leniency in everyday law enforcement. I also have ongoing projects analyzing text data from an online police forum and the effect of the trade war on pollution in China.


Job Market Paper
Abstract:

Police officers often exercise substantial discretion when making highly consequential decisions, which can lead to unfair and arbitrary law enforcement. In this paper, I exploit daily ambient temperature as a source of transitory, high-frequency shocks and examine how it affects an officer’s decision whether to discount a driver’s speeding penalty in Florida. I find that a 1-standard-deviation increase in temperature lowers the driver’s probability of receiving a lenient ticket by 2%. In addition, using traffic monitoring data and crash reports, I do not find evidence of decreased police effort or increased reckless driving on hot days. I show that the reduction in leniency is disproportionally borne by white drivers, who are less likely to get a discounted penalty from white officers as the temperature increases. In addition, I find that newly hired officers become less affected by temperature as they accumulate more experience on the job. For a potential mechanism, I find a negative effect of temperature on expressed sentiment using posts from an online police forum based in Florida, which suggests that the result could be due to increased officer hostility.


Research

WORKING PAPERS
“The Effect of Trade War on Pollution in China” with Xinming Du
“The Effect of Regional Emission Standards on Pollution Leakage in China”


Teaching

Introduction to Econometrics, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2018, Fall 2017
Principles of Economics, Spring 2020, Fall 2018
Industrial Organization, Fall 2020, Summer 2018

1022 International Affairs Building (IAB)
Mail Code 3308  
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
Ph: (212) 854-3680
Fax: (212) 854-0749
Business Hours:
Mon–Fri, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

1022 International Affairs Building (IAB)

Mail Code 3308

420 West 118th Street

New York, NY 10027

Ph: (212) 854-3680
Fax: (212) 854-0749
Business Hours:
Mon–Fri, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
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