Research in Progress 


Toward An Understanding of Fishing Cultures (An Huang & Thomas Talhelm)

Within the fields of economics and psychology, few studies have looked at the effect of a history of fishing on modern cultural differences. This project shows that pre-modern fishing practices explain large-scale behavioral and psychological differences both within Japan and globally.







Exclusion and the Origin of Intergroup Preferences (Yan Chen & An Huang)

It has been shown that intergroup preferences can facilitate the provision of public goods. This project reverses the causal arrow and proposes a theory that the provision of excludable public goods plays a role in shaping intergroup preferences. We also empirically examine this theory.



A fishing boat catching flatfish in premodern Japan (Utagawa Hiroshige, 1797-1858)

Members of a commune pedaled waterwheels to supply water in 1962 China

Working Papers


Paddy and Prejudice: Evidence from China and 12 other Asian Societies

An Huang, Paulo Santos and Russell Smyth. 2023.


In China, people from rice-farming areas are less likely to oppose having diverse groups as neighbors in the World Values Survey. This relationship is mediated by greater exposure to grain markets, itself derived from paddy’s higher land productivity, likely reflecting the opportunities for interpersonal contact created by markets.




*Behavioral Adaptation to Improved Environmental Quality

Lisa Cameron, An Huang*, Paulo Santos and Milan Thomas. 2023. Asian Development Bank Blog.


Following the conclusion of a field experiment aimed at improving sanitation coverage, a significant portion of households stopped boiling water before drinking. This is because water boiling in developing countries is associated with hassle and inconvenience. When people perceive the community water as cleaner with better village sanitation, their perceived necessity of boiling drinking water is reduced. 

* like an RA project to me :‑Þ


Rice Cultivation in China (Credit: David Jallaud)

Out-door Toilet in Developing Countries (Credit: George Barker)