Nancy Qian is an Associate Professor of Economics at Yale University, where she
teaches development economics. She is a native of Shanghai, China and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before coming to Yale, Nancy taught at Brown University and was a visiting scholar at the department of economics at Harvard University while she was a Harvard Academy Scholars postdoctoral fellow.
Her research is focused on providing rigorous micro empirical evidence for a set of core questions in development economics that fall broadly under three categories: demography and development, growth and development, and institutions and development. Works in the first category include studies of the economic determinants of “missing women”, the effects of family size on school enrollment, and the long run effects of famine on health and labor supply. Works in the second category include studies of the effect of agricultural productivity shocks on population and urbanization in the historical context of the Columbian Exchange, cross-country differences in experience-earnings profiles, the historical effects of electricity on productivity in Sweden and railroads on income in China, the relationship between fertility and savings rates in China, and several studies on the recent economic transition and private-sector growth in China. Works in the third category include studies of the institutional causes of famine in China and the U.S.S.R., the effects of local elections on economic policies in rural China, the consequences of U.S. food aid on conflict and the influence of government-controlled media.
Nancy’s work has been published in top academic journals and featured by media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio. Both the Quarterly Journal of Economics and Science featured her paper on the historical effect of potatoes as the “Editor’s Choice”. She is also currently an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow and a winner of the Kiel Institute’s Global Excellence Award. She has been awarded research grants by organizations such as the National Science Foundation. She currently serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Development Economics and has consulted for development agencies such as The World Bank or the Global Development Network.
Nancy is married, enjoys cooking, people watching, reading, art, photography, tennis, surfing very small waves and watching movie and sitcom marathons.