I’m a development economist at Chicago Booth, and I am a 4th year Econ PhD student. I am currently working on projects in India, Pakistan, Uganda, and the Philippines. My first strand of research focuses on household decision making around human capital investments for daughters. My second strand of research focuses on economic development and informality.

You can email me at emma.zhang@chicagobooth.edu

(1) Household + girls education – PhD dissertation

Paid labor market exposure in high school and girls educational and career decisions in India. (Joint with Rubina Hundal) – Pilot complete. Full experiment launched. RCT registered here!

Intra-household incentive design: an experiment on parent-child decision making dynamics in Pakistan (Joint with Hamna Ahmad, Zunia Tirmazee and Rebecca Wu) – Working paper here!

What supports persistent improvements in girls educational outcomes? Evidence from teachers, students, and parents from a curriculum on social action in rural Uganda. (Joint with Vesall Nourani) – Data collection complete. Email for latest version. Previous version submitted as Booth third year paper.

(2) Informality

The role of informal labor on scalable waste-management solutions: evidence from Delhi (Joint with Ashton Pallottini, Yixin Sun and Jun Wong)  – Pilot launching Spring 2024

Rubbish economics: crowd-sourcing community participation on digital platforms for solid-waste management in Bangalore (Joint with Ashton Pallottini, Yixin Sun and Jun Wong) – Prototyping in progress. 

Algorithm aversion and the scaling of disaster-resistant slum housing in the Philippines – Prototyping in progress. 

The burden of informal loans on SME growth in Punjab (Joint with Hamna Ahmed and Zunia Tirmazee Saif) – Launching Summer 2024.