Zhen Lei

Email: zxl26@psu.edu

Phone: (814) 863-0810

Office Address:
125 Hosler Bldg.

Title: Assistant Professor


Research Areas:
Clean Fuels & Catalysis
Coal Science & Technology
Energy Economics
Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering
Sustainable Energy

Education Background:
• Ph.D. (Agricultural and Resource Economics), University of California at Berkeley, 2009
• Ph.D. (Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences), Peking University Health Sciences Center, 2000
• M.S. (Organic Chemistry), Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1997
• B.S. (Chemistry), Wuhan university, China

B.S. (Chemistry), Wuhan University, 1993


Lei is an associate professor of energy and environmental economics. He began at Penn State in 2009. Lei holds a B.S. in chemistry from Wuhan University in China, an M.S. in organic chemistry from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in chemistry and pharmaceutical sciences from Peking University Health Sciences Center in China. Lei has published papers in top general journals (including Nature and Nature Biotechnology), in top economics field journals (such as Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Journal of Public Economics, Energy Economics and Energy Journal), in top information and data science journals and conferences (such as Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, and ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management), and in top technology law journals (including Stanford Technology Law Review). His research has been supported by research grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Research Interests:

• Energy, environment, and health economics and policy
• Technology and science policy, economics of innovation, and intellectual property rights
• Big data and data mining

Memberships & Committees:

• American Economic Association
• Agricultural and Applied Economics Association
• The Society for Empirical Legal Studies
• Chinese Economists Society


• EBF 401 - Strategic Corporate Finance for the Earth, Energy, and Materials Industries (3)
• ENNEC 100 - Introduction to Energy and Earth Sciences Economics (3)
• ENNEC 484 - Energy Economics (3)


Elsevier: https://pennstate.pure.elsevier.com/en/persons/zhen-lei/publications/

Zhen Lei's Publications
Record 1 - 10 of 28 View All
Fan, M., J. Cao, K. Zhang, and Zhen Lei, (2022). Command vs. market in China’s energy intensity reduction strategies: Firm-level evidence, PLOS ONE, v. 17(2), [e0263325], https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0263325.
Lei, Zhen and C.-H. Tsai, (2019). Market Deregulation and Nuclear Safety, Energy Economics, v. 82, pp 62-67.
Drivas, K., Zhen Lei, and B. Wright, (2018). Application Publication or Confirmation of Grant: Which Matters More for Academic Technology Transfer? International Journal of Industrial Organization, v. 56, pp 204-228.
He, Z., Zhen Lei, and D. Wang, (2018). Modeling Citation Dynamics of ‘Atypical’ Papers, Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, v. 69 (9), pp 1148-1160.
Qiu, H., J. Yan, Zhen Lei, and D. Sun, (2018). Rising Wages and Energy Consumption Transition in Rural China, Energy Policy, v. 119, pp. 545-553.
Cahoy, D. R., Zhen Lei, Y. Meng, and S. Blumsack, (2017). Global Patent Chokepoints, Stanford Technology Law Review, v. 20, pp 213-244.
Drivas, K., Zhen Lei, and B. D. Wright, (2017). Application publication or confirmation of grant: Which matters more for academic technology transfer?, In International Journal of Industrial Organization, ISSN 0167-7187, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijindorg.2017.10.005.
Drivas, K., Zhen Lei, and B. Wright, (2017). Academic Patent Licenses: Roadblocks or Signposts for Nonlicensee Cumulative Innovation? Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, v. 137, pp. 282-303.
Lei, Zhen, and B. D. Wright, (2017 February 11). Why weak patents? Testing the examiner ignorance hypothesis, Journal of Public Economics, v. 148, pp 43-56, ISSN 0047-2727.
Lei, Zhen, and C.-H. Tsai, (2017). Market deregulation and nuclear safety, Energy Economics, v, 82, pp. 62-67, ISSN 0140-9883, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eneco.2017.10.015.