Fan Wang

Assistant Professor
Department of Economics
University of Houston

About Me

I have been an Assistant Professor at the University of Houston’s Economics Department since 2015. I study topics related to financial access, health, and education, generally in the context of developing countries.

I received my B.A. in Economics and History from the University of Chicago in 2008. After college, I worked as a Research Assistant at MIT. I graduated with a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015.

My Research

I have studied the determinants of early life height and weight production functions (Puentes et al. 2016), the effects of village school closures (Hannum, Liu, and Wang 2021; Hannum and Wang 2022), the impacts of expanding formal credit market access on local informal credit markets (Wang 2021), the role of local reference points in determining health investments and outcomes (Wang et al. 2022), the associations between birth weight and prenatal environmental exposures (Liu et al. 2022), and the optimal allocation of limited resources among heterogeneous agents (Nygaard, Sørensen, and Wang 2022).

The empirical settings for my research include China, Guatemala, the Philippines, Thailand, and the U.S. Relying on household surveys and various empirical estimation strategies, my research investigates the heterogeneous causal effects of various development policies, often in the context of village economies. Through the lens of structural models, I provide counterfactual policy evaluations and compare tradeoffs among policy alternatives.

A key interest of mine is the analysis of equilibrium policy effects. For example, in the setting of village financial markets, the expansion of formal services might disrupt existing informal arrangements and lead to unintended losses among some households (Wang 2021). In contrast, in the setting of nutritional aid provision, longer-term equilibrium dynamics might reinforce and magnify the immediate positive effects of a financial subsidy on health outcomes (Wang et al. 2022).

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