Maria Zhu

Assistant Professor, Economics

Maria Zhu is an Assistant Professor of Economics and a Senior Research Associate in the Center for Policy Research. Her research interests include labor economics and the economics of education. She has worked on projects looking at affirmative action, social networks in the labor market, and instructor quality in higher education. Prior to completing her Ph.D., she studied mathematics and economics at Pomona College. Maria received her Ph.D. in economics from Duke University in 2019.

Currently, Maria has multiple projects looking at the role of social networks in facilitating job-finding. One project analyzes the role of classmates at US community colleges in connecting students to jobs, as well as the effects of getting a job through a peer network on earnings and job turnover rates. A second project uses Hungarian administrative data to assess the role coworker networkers play in helping displaced workers seek employment. Additionally, she has ongoing work looking at the relative role of adjunct versus full-time instructors on college student outcomes in the US.