Peer Reviewed Publications

1. Zhang, Jun, and Steven Yen (2017). “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Food Insecurity among Families with Children”, Journal of Policy Modeling, 39 (1):52–64. Zhang_et_al_2017_Journal_Policy_Modeling

2. Zhang, Jun, and Steven Yen (2015). “Physical Activity, Gender Difference and Depressive Symptoms”, Health Services Research, 50 (5):1550–1573. Zhang_et_al-2015-Health_Services_Research

Working Papers

1. Zhang, Jun (2018). “What Makes A Good Merger? An Analysis of Merger Efficiencies in the U.S. Bottled Water Industry”, University of Maryland, College Park, October (Job Market Paper). 


I quantify efficiencies that were created following a horizontal merger between Coca-Cola and Glaceau, the manufacturer of Vitaminwater and Smartwater, in the U.S. premium bottled water market. I estimate a structural demand and supply model where manufacturers choose advertising, product variety (number of UPCs) and wholesale prices, and I allow for several types of efficiencies. With counterfactual simulations, I show how marginal cost, product variety fixed cost, and advertising fixed cost efficiencies affected equilibrium market outcomes. I find that, compared to a “no merger” baseline in year 2009, the merger reduced the prices of Glaceau products by 3.5%-5.2% and increased product varieties by 18.8%-35.8%, advertising of Vitaminwater by 53.9%. Besides, the merger increased market shares of Glaceau products by 40.1%-60.7% and raised consumer surplus by about 22%. These results suggest that, despite a recent focus on mergers that appear to have had negative consequences, some mergers yield benefits.


2. Li, Sophia, Joe Mazur, Yongjoon Park, James Roberts, Andrew Sweeting, and Jun Zhang (2018). “Repositioning and Market Power After Airline Mergers” (earlier version was circulated as “Endogenous and Selective Service Choices After Airline Mergers”, NBER working paper, No. 24214. Winner of the Robert F. Lanzillotti Prize for the Best Paper in Antitrust Economics 2018, under review). LMPRSZ_july2018_submitted

3. Wang, Yanghao, Steven Yen, and Jun Zhang (2018). “Does Physical Activity Ameliorate Obesity among Older Adults in China?” University of Maryland, College Park, October.


This paper investigates the effect of physical activity (PA) on overweight and obesity among older adults in China, using data from the 2011–12 national baseline survey component of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study. An ordered probit model for ordinal weight variable with ordinal PA treatment is estimated with the Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method. Treatment effect estimates suggest vigorous PA plays a role across all weight categories, helping older adults with normal weight maintain a healthy weight and the overweight and obese lose weight. PA beyond the moderate level is needed for the purpose of weight control. Socio-demographic characteristics such as education also play a role. The gender difference is present, older men more prone to overweight and obese than older women.

4. Dong, Han, Jun Zhang, and Cinzia Cirillo, (2018). “On the Linkage between Emotions and Leisure Activity Participation: A Two-equation Simultaneous System Approach”. University of Maryland, College Park, June.


Leisure activities play an important role in improving life quality and daily satisfaction. Involvement in leisure activities also influences the individual’s well-being. At the same time, emotions, a form of well-being, also affect the choices on activities. This study investigated the mutual influence of leisure activity choices and daily emotions with a recursive modeling framework. Socio-demographics, well-being status, and time usage on other activities are shown to influence our daily emotions and leisure activity choices. Complex mutual effects are also revealed between activity choices and emotions. Participating in-home leisure activity positively contributes to the probability of a higher happiness level, while individuals with a higher happiness level are less likely to participate in in-home leisure activities. In the end, average treatment effects and marginal effects are also computed. Differentiated effects of well-being status are found on leisure activities choices. Findings on the role of socio-demographic and mutual effects can inform marketing strategies and policy deliberations.

5. Zhang, Jun (2016). “Does Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Reduce Adults and Children’s Food Insecurity? Evidence from the Current Population Survey” University of Maryland, College Park, September (won the Bessie H. DeVault Fellowship for best paper by a second-year Ph.D. student in 2016).


Using data from the 2009–2011 Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement (CPS-FSS), we investigate the effectiveness of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in combatting food insecurity among households with children. A recursive ordered probability system is estimated. Participation in SNAP is found to reduce the probability of food insecurity among adults by 7.3%, but increase the probability of low food security among children by 5.2% and very low food security among children by 2.1%. Socio-demographic characteristics also play important roles in determining SNAP participation and household food insecurity.

6. Zhang, Jun (2016). “Carbon Tax Incidence and Household Energy Demand in the U.S.” University of Maryland, College Park, January (won the Rhona Lantin Award, for best paper by a first-year Ph.D. student in 2015). 1st year paper_Jan30_Jun Zhang


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