PhD Candidate, Department of Economics

 

                                                         

Contact Information

Department of Economics
Northwestern University
2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208

mobile: 319-855-0789

yilingzhao2018@u.northwestern.edu

 

 

Education

Ph.D., Economics, Northwestern University, 2020 (expected)
MA, Economics, Northwestern University, 2014
BA, Economics, University of Iowa, 2013
BA, Mathematics, University of Iowa, 2013.

Fields of Specialization

Economic History; Applied Microeconomics

Curriculum Vitae

Download Vita (PDF)

Job Market Paper

“Engineering the gender gap: Fall of Women’s Share in Computer Science”   [View In Dropbox]

Abstract: This paper explores the formation of gender norm in academic preferences, and show how this norm constrains women’s allocative ability to choose computer science. I hypothesize that the historical development in women’s education contributed to the gendered preferences in college major choices. As an example, I document that the curriculum of home economics, a female college major created in the late nineteenth century, correlate with women’s contemporary tendency to major in psychology, chemistry, biology, and public health. Broadly speaking, the development of women’s education is rooted in the traditional gender roles. The scientific fields that found domestic applications became a part of women’s normative education choice set. To show that this norm still influences women’s major choices today, I study the gender assortment in computer science (CS). I take advantage of CS’s multiple identities, some farther away from the gender norm than others. Using a novel panel dataset on university hierarchy from 1980 to 2010, I find that the percentage of women earning CS bachelor’s degrees decreases when the CS department moves from colleges of liberal arts and sciences to the traditionally masculine domain of schools of engineering.

Other Research Paper

“Sectarian Competition and the Market Provision of Human Capital” with Heyu Xiong

Abstract: In the latter half of the 19th century, America experienced a significant expansion in its collegiate infrastructure. By 1890, more institutions of higher learning existed in the United States than all of Europe. In this paper, we study the role of denominational competition in the market provision of higher education. Specifically, we document nearly all colleges established in this time period had denominational roots or origins. The empirical analysis reveals a robust positive relationship between an area’s religious fragmentation and the number of colleges established locally. We argue that denominational affiliation facilitated enthusiasm to build colleges through gains to differentiation from standard Hotelling channels. We formulate a model of school choice to find evidence that denominational affiliation softened the extent of tuition competition and mediated an “excess” entry of colleges. We conclude by showing that the higher equilibrium quantity of schools, associated with an increased entry, had a persistent effect on institutional quality; thus, religious diversity precipitated educational investment.

References:

Prof Joel Mokyr
Prof Joseph Ferrie
Prof Carola Frydman