Dr Bowen Liu

Dr Bowen Liu

Department of Management
Assistant Professor in Industrial and Business Economics

Contact details

Birmingham Business School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr. Bowen Liu is an applied economist whose research interests lie in the areas of Industrial Economics, Environmental Economics, Climate Change Economics. Bowen is currently assistant professor in Department of Management, he is interested in policy evaluation using interdisciplinary methods that combining Econometrics and Machine Learning, with a particular focus on policies and interventions that promote innovation, economic development, environmental protection and sustainable development.

His work has been published in economics journals (like Environmental and Resource Economics) and leading science journals (like Science Advances, Environmental Science and Technology, EST Letters). His work has been reported by leading medias like BBC, Daily Mail, Yahoo, Science Daily, Sohu, Sina

Feedback and office hours

By appointment


PhD in Economics, University of Birmingham, 2021

MSc (Distinction) in Finance and Economics, University of Southampton, 2016


Bowen previously worked as a research fellow on the WM-Air project (strand 5- economics strand) which aims at investigating the social and economic impact of air pollution within West Midlands, UK.

Postgraduate supervision

Bowen is interested in supervising PhD student across a range of areas including Environmental Economics, Climate Change Economics, Industrial and Business Economics:

1 Air pollution and human (physical &mental) health

2. Globalisation (Trade, FDI) and environment

3. Climate change, human conflict and social stability

4. ESG and firm behaviour

5. Machine learning techniques (text analysis, image recognition, regression / classification) in combination with Econometric (causal inference) methods


Bowen has been involved in a number of research projects as PI or CO-I:

1. WM-Air, West Midlands Air Quality Improvement Programme, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC- £5m)

2. “The Impact of Covid-19 lockdown on air quality in selected megacities” project, Funded by IGI (The Institute for Global innovation) Clean Air Theme from University of Birmingham (£9,825)

3. “Winter heating and air quality in China” project, Funded by IGI (The Institute for Global innovation) Clean Air Theme from University of Birmingham (£5,500)

4. Advancing climate mitigation policy solutions with health co-benefit in G7 countries (Wellcome Trust - £2.5m)

5. Policy evaluating on Birmingham CAZ and London ULEZ (Research England – £56,000)

Other activities

Reviewer for Environmental and Resource Economics, Economic Modelling 

Media coverages: 

See our research about Birmingham Clean Air Zone on:

BBC News 

Daily Mail

University of Birmingham News  and blogs 

See our research on clean winter heating policy and air quality in China: 

UoB News





Study says clean heating policies in some Chinese cities can significantly improve air quality

Covid lockdown and air quality

Wuhans lockdown cut air pollution

 Quantifying the impact of Clean Air Policy: For air quality management 


Recent publications


Liu, B, Bryson, JR, Sevinc, D, Cole, M, Elliott, R, Bartington, S, Bloss, W & Shi, Z 2023, 'Assessing the Impacts of Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone on Air Quality: Estimates from a Machine Learning and Synthetic Control Approach', Environmental and Resource Economics, vol. 86, no. 1-2, pp. 203-231. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10640-023-00794-2, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10640-023-00794-2

Song, C, Liu, B, Cheng, K, Cole, MA, Dai, Q, Elliott, RJR & Shi, Z 2023, 'Attribution of air quality benefits to clean winter heating polices in China: combining machine learning with causal inference', Environmental Science and Technology. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.2c06800

Hou, L, Dai, Q, Song, C, Liu, B, Guo, F, Dai, T, Li, L, Liu, B, Bi, X, Zhang, Y & Feng, Y 2022, 'Revealing drivers of haze pollution by explainable machine learning', Environmental Science and Technology Letters, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 112–119. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.estlett.1c00865

Shi, Z, Song, C, Liu, B, Lu, G, Xu, J, VU, VT, Elliott, RJR, Li, W, Bloss, W & Harrison, R 2021, 'Abrupt but smaller than expected changes in surface air quality attributable to COVID-19 lockdowns', Science Advances, vol. 7, no. 3, eabd6696. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abd6696

Dai, Q, Hou, L, Liu, B, Zhang, Y, Song, C, Shi, Z, Hopke, PK & Feng, Y 2021, 'Spring festival and COVID-19 lockdown: disentangling PM sources in major Chinese cities', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 48, no. 11, e2021GL093403. https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GL093403

Cole, MA, Elliott, RJR & Liu, B 2020, 'The Impact of the Wuhan Covid-19 lockdown on air pollution and health: a machine learning and augmented synthetic control approach', Environmental and Resource Economics, vol. 76, no. 4, pp. 553-580. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10640-020-00483-4

Xu, L, Zhang, J, Sun, X, Xu, S, Shan, M, Yuan, Q, Liu, L, Du, Z, Liu, D, Xu, D, Song, C, Liu, B, Lu, G, Shi, Z & Li, W 2020, 'Variation in Concentration and Sources of Black Carbon in a Megacity of China During the COVID‐19 Pandemic', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 47, no. 23, e2020GL090444. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL090444


Liu, L, Zhang, J, Du, R, Teng, X, Hu, R, Yuan, Q, Tang, S, Ren, C, Huang, X, Xu, L, Zhang, Y, Zhang, X, Song, C, Liu, B, Lu, G, Shi, Z & Li, W 2021, 'Chemistry of atmospheric fine particles during the COVID-19 pandemic in a megacity of eastern China', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 48, no. 2, 2020GL091611. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL091611

Other report

Shi, Z, Liu, B, Cheng, K, Elliott, R, Cole, M & Bryson, J 2022, Quantifying the impact of clean air policy interventions for air quality management. University of Birmingham. https://doi.org/10.25500/epapers.bham.00004040, https://doi.org/10.25500/epapers.bham.00004040

View all publications in research portal