Justin J. Hong
Hello! I am a Ph.D. candidate (5th year) in Economics at Boston University.
Fields of Interest: Development Economics, Political Economy, Public Economics
Superstitions, Risk-Taking and Public Leadership: Evidence from Chinese Villages [Submitted]
This paper studies the impact of risk-taking on public leadership, by exploiting Chinese "zodiac year" superstitions that generate within-individual variation in risk appetite. Employing a representative village panel (2013-2018), I find that lower risk-taking of village heads leads to increased collective decision-making and perceived responsiveness by villagers; I also observe consistent expenditure changes, with higher public good spending and a comparable decline in administration spending. However, zodiac leaders are also less likely to promote policy innovation. Collectively, risk avoidance can shift leader focus toward addressing constituent interests when incentives for responsiveness are limited, with a potential trade-off between accountability and public entrepreneurship.
Rent-Seeking in Identifying Talented Youth: Evidence from Chinese Science Olympiads (with X. Li)