Yiling ZhangGraduate Student

Yiling Zhang is a first-year Ph.D. student in Consumer Behavior and Family Economics Program. She is interested in policy analysis and consumer economics. She prefers to do applied research, such as applying behavior economics theories in the design of consumer protection policies or family policies.

Education and Relevant Experience

Yiling Zhang graduated from Fudan University in China, majoring in International Politics. Then she got her MPA degree at Cornell University with concentration on financial and economic policy. She was involved in qualitative analysis with several government consulting projects during her undergraduate study. She conducted literature reviews about energy security, collected energy data and religious data from various sources, drafted the first chapter of China Trade Operation Monitoring Report (2015) and wrote several policy memos. She assisted several professors with research work at Cornell University. For example, for the project with Prof. Donald S. Kenkel and Prof. Rick Geddes, she reviewed and coded data from firework regulations in all U.S. states to identify states’ risk preferences; for the project with Prof. Tennyson, she cleaned data on body injury claims and conducted data analysis. Now she is working with Prof. Fenaba Addo and Prof. Michael Collins at UW-Madison to explore racial differences in financial planning access and utilization.

She used to work in consulting firm and research institution. She was a consulting assistant in a Japanese consulting firm, participating in several projects and performing market review, user observation session and creating deliverables for the customers. She also worked as an intern in Shanghai WTO Affairs Consultation Center where she was used to collecting and analyzing economic data.


  • Consumer Science

Degree Program

  • PhD Human Ecology: Consumer Behavior and Family Economics