The Effect of Pollution and Heat on High Skill Public Sector Worker Productivity in China

34 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2019 Last revised: 4 Mar 2019

See all articles by Matthew E. Kahn

Matthew E. Kahn

University of Southern California; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Pei Li

Xiamen University - Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE)

Date Written: February 2019

Abstract

The quality of governance depends on public sector worker productivity. We use micro data from China to document that judges are less productive on polluted days. Building on the insights of Alchian and Kessel (1962), we discuss the role of organization design and the incentives of public versus for profit organizations in designing a workplace that reduces the productivity costs of local disamenities. We find that the public sector productivity elasticities are larger than published estimates of the private sector productivity elasticities with respect to pollution.

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Suggested Citation

Kahn, Matthew E. and Li, Pei, The Effect of Pollution and Heat on High Skill Public Sector Worker Productivity in China (February 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w25594. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3341254

Matthew E. Kahn (Contact Author)

University of Southern California ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Pei Li

Xiamen University - Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE) ( email )

A 307, Economics Building
Xiamen, Fujian 10246
China

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