Yanyu Zhou

Email: yanyu.zhou@glasgow.ac.uk

Office: Room 403, 11 Southpark Terrace, University of Glasgow G12 8LG

Research title: The effect of highway infrastructure on firms' inventory and fixed investment in China

Research Summary

Yanyu's research interests include corporate finance, green finance, transportation economics, and development economics.  Her current research focuses on the effects of highway construction on manufacturing firms' inventory and investment decisions and capital allocation efficiency. 

Working paper:

The Effect of Highway Access on Firms’ Inventory Investment in China

Abstract:  This paper examines the causal effect of highway access on firms’ inventory investment, using a geo-coded firm-level panel dataset for Chinese manufacturing firms in the period 1998-2007. Two types of endogeneity concerns arising from the non-random distribution of highways and the endogenous location of firms are addressed using various instruments and samples. Our results show that better access to highways encourages firms to reduce their input and total inventories. Each dollar of highway spending in China reduces the input inventory stock by about 3.9-10.0 cents and the total inventory stock by around 6.7-25.5 cents. Firms’ input inventories are more affected by highways through the direct channel of reduction in transportation cost and transit time, whereas firms’ output inventories are more affected by the demand channel. We find that the cost-saving benefits of input inventories are unevenly distributed across firms, sectors and regions.

The Effect of Highway Accessibility on Corporate Investment in China

Abstract: This paper investigates whether and how highway accessibility affects corporate investment using a geo-coded micro-level panel dataset for Chinese manufacturing firms. To identify the causal effect, we construct three sets of instruments for highway variables, that is, the least cost paths, straight line network and historical courier routes. We find that better access to highways promotes firms' investment, supporting the crowding-in effect of public investment. Since firms may have endogenous location choices, the endogeneity problem is further controlled by including only those firms that have existed since 1999 and have never switched locations. Highway proximity is found to stimulate corporate investment through at least three mechanisms, that is, by reducing firms' financial constraints, releasing additional internal funds via inventory reduction, and mitigating the negative impact of uncertainties. Our results are robust when different highway measures and instruments are adopted.

Work in progress:

'Highway Proximity and Capital Misallocation'

'Does Highway Construction Increase Manufacturing Firms' Investment Efficiency?'



2022-2023 Paper accepted: RES and SES Annual Conference 2023, UK; 2022 European Winter Meeting of the Econometric Society (EWME), German; 1st International Workshop on the Chinese Development Model, Spain; 2022 Asia-Pacific Conference on Economics & Finance ‘Live’ (APEF), Singapore. 

2022: The 37th meeting of the European Economic Association (EEA) and the 74th European meeting of the Econometric Society (ESEM), Bocconi University, Italy; Asian Meeting of the Econometric Society (AMES), The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China; The 14th CEA (Europe) and 33rd CEA (UK) 2022 Annual Conference, Durham University, UK; The Chinese Economists Society (CES) 2022 Annual Conference, Guizhou University, China; Antai College of Economics and Management (ACEM) Doctoral Students Forum 2022, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China; 

2020: The Scottish Economic Society Annual Conference, Scotland, UK
2018: International Symposium on Urban Governance Innovation and Green Development, Tianjin, China
2017: The 15th International Conference on Financial Systems Engineering and Risk Management, Beijing, China


  • Growth and Development (MSc level): spring 2021; fall 2021; fall 2022
  • Money, Finance and Growth (MSc level): spring 2021; spring 2022; fall 2022
  • Economic Growth, Finance and Development (BSc level): fall 2020; fall 2021

Teaching achievementaward for Excellence in Teaching (Economics), Adam Smith Business School, 2021&2022

Additional Information


2017-2019: M.Sc in Urban Study (with merit), University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

2017-2019: M.Sc in Regional Economics (with honours), Nankai University, Tianjin, China

2013-2017: B.Sc in Finance, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China

Summer school: 

I.S.E.O. Summer School 2022, Italy; The Asian Summer School in Econometrics and Statistics 2022, The Econometric Society, China