Our colleague, Jiaqi Zou has earned her PhD in Economics at the University of TorontoWe are proud to announce that our newest colleague, Jiaqi Zou successfully defended her doctoral dissertation on September 7, 2023.
Jiaqi earned her PhD in Economics at the University of Toronto on barriers and limiting beliefs at the intersections of family, education, and labor economics. She is the first to show through a natural experiment that financial barriers – whether externally or self-imposed – do indeed hold men back from marriage in the context of the increasing cohabitation trends of recent decades. This result is not to be taken for granted, as women have consistently been found to have the opposite response; i.e. they delay marriage when financial barriers are lifted. Next, she finds with coauthors that “leftover women” in China – typically high-educated single women over the age of 27 – are not really leftover as the government suggests and as many feared. Contrary to popular belief, the high-educated women simply delay marriage to their mid to late 30s but ultimately marry at very comparable rates to everyone else with no penalty to the quality of their marriage, either. Finally, Jiaqi investigates behavioral responses to feeling over- or under-valued at work (impostor syndrome and shoulder chips, respectively) and how they affect performance and career potential. The desire to prove oneself in both cases leads to a distortion: worse individual performance – ironically, only because the individuals strive to tackle more challenging and thus riskier projects – but also better teamwork.