Chenyu Qiu experienced first-hand the terrible pollution in his home country of China, motivating him to do something about it.

After completing his master’s degree at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy in 2014, he decided to spend the summer before his Harris doctoral program began back home. He participated in a trip with China’s Environmental Research Group organized by Political Science Professor Dali Yang. There, in addition to again witnessing the many local environmental problems, he saw “local government efforts in making better policies.” This further fueled his motivation to help China improve energy and environment policymaking.

Now a PhD student at Harris, Chenyu focuses on the behaviors of market participants in the energy industry, especially in the context of recent technological changes and policy reforms in China. He joined the EPIC team as a 2015-2016 Bartlett Fellow in order to apply his analytical skills to important energy and environmental questions.

At EPIC, Chenyu assisted Professor Koichiro Ito on various projects related to environmental end energy economics.

“One project is about measuring willingness to pay for clean air in China,” he said. In it, he examined data from air purifier markets in China to investigate how much people in Chinese cities are willing to pay for clean air. He is specifically interested in learning if a fuel economy regulation in Japan creates any impacts on automobile markets in other countries.

Chenyu’s other work at UChicago includes a study with Professor Yang that examined China’s national survey data from 2003 to 2013 in order to find patterns in the public’s attitude toward the environment.