I’m a development economist at Chicago Booth, and I just finished my third year of the Econ PhD. 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 broadly on strengthening informal communities.

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

(1) Household + girls education

Effects of Paid Labor Market Exposure in High School on Girls Educational and Career Decisions in India. (Joint with Rubina Hundal) – Pilot complete. Full launch in progress.

Household bargaining inefficiencies and under-investment in daughters’ income-generating skills in Pakistan. (Joint with Hamna Ahmad, Zunia Tirmazee and Rebecca Wu) – Data collection complete. 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. Draft in progress.

(2) Informality

Rubbish economics: decreasing the use of informal dumps in Bengalaru slums (joint with Ashton Pallottini, Yixin Sun and Jun Wong) – Pilot launching October 2023

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

Intergenerational learning in the household: child-to-parent spillovers of vocational training on informal work in India (Joint with Rubina Hundal) – Pilot launching Winter 2024