Shing-Yi Wang

Shing-Yi Wang
  • Associate Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    1456 Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: development economics, labor economics

Links: Personal Website


Shing-Yi Wang is an Associate Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at Wharton. She is also an affiliate of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) and a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). She received her Ph.D. in economics from Yale University and her B.A. from Wellesley College. Prior to joining Wharton, she was an assistant professor in the department of economics at New York University. She has also worked at the Federal Reserve Board and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

She specializes in development economics and labor economics with a focus on microeconomic issues related to property rights and migration. While much of her research is on China, she has also examined questions in India, Mongolia, and the United Arab Emirates. Her research has appeared in leading academic journals, including the American Economic Review, the Review of Economics and Statistics and the American Economic Journal: Applied Micro.

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  • Rema Hanna and Shing-Yi Wang (2017), Dishonesty and Selection into Public Service: Evidence from India, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 9 (3), pp. 262-290.

  • Yaw Nyarko, Thomas Joseph, Shing-Yi Wang (2017), Asymmetric Information and Remittances: Evidence from Matched Administrative Data, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

  • Suresh Naidu, Yaw Nyarko, Shing-Yi Wang (2016), Monopsony Power in Migrant Labor Markets: Evidence from the United Arab Emirates, Journal of Political Economy.

  • Cynthia Kinnan, Shing-Yi Wang, Yongxiang Wang (2015), Access to Migration for Rural Households, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, forthcoming.

    Abstract: There are an estimated 750 million internal migrants in the world, yet the effects of access to internal migration for rural households are not well understood. Internal migrants may provide wealth transfers, insurance or credit to households remaining in rural areas. This paper exploits two unique features of China’s history to study the impact of relaxing migration constraints on the outcomes and choices of agricultural households: reforms to the household registration (hukou) system that relaxed restrictions on migration, and historical, centrally-planned migration flows. We show that historical flows of temporary migration due to a government policy called the “sentdown youth” (SDY) program created lasting inter-province links, so that decades later, reforms to the hukou system in cities which sent SDY increased migration in provinces where those SDY were sent. Using this variation, we find that improved access to migration leads to higher levels of consumption and lower consumption volatility for rural households. Furthermore, household production decisions change, with a shift into high-risk, high-return activities including animal husbandry and fruit farming.

  • Shing-Yi Wang (2015), Statistical Discrimination, Productivity and the Height of Immigrants, Industrial and Labor Relations Review , Accepted.

  • Rajshri Jayaraman, Debraj Ray, Shing-Yi Wang (2014), Engendered Access or Engendered Care? Evidence from a Major Indian Hospital, Economic and Political Weekly.

  • Shing-Yi Wang (2014), Property Rights and Intra-Household Bargaining, Journal of Development Economics, 107, pp. 192-201.

    Abstract: This paper examines whether an individual-level transfer of property rights increases the individual's bargaining power within the household. The question is analyzed in the context of a housing reform that occurred in China that gave existing tenants the oopportunity to purchase the homes that they had been renting from their state employers.  The rights to each housing unit were granted to a particular employee, so property rights were de ned at the individual level rather than the household level. The results indicate that transferring ownership rights to men increased household consumption of some male-favored goods and women's time spent on chores. Transferring ownership rights to women decreased household consumption of some male-favored goods.

  • Shing-Yi Wang (2013), Marriage Networks, Nepotism and Labor Market Outcomes in China, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 5(3), pp. 91-112.

  • Shing-Yi Wang (2012), Credit Constraints, Job Mobility and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from a Property Reform in China, Review of Economics and Statistics, 94 (2), pp. 523-551.

  • Shing-Yi Wang (2011), State Misallocation and Housing Prices: Theory and Evidence from China, American Economic Review, 101 (5), pp. 2081-2107.


Past Courses


    This course examines the non-market components of business and the broader political, regulatory, and civil context in which companies function. This course addresses how businesses interact with political and regulatory institutions, as well as the general public, with a focus on the global economy. The first portion examines the realities associated with political economy and the actual making of laws and regulations by imperfect politicians and regulators. The second portion analyzes the economic rationale for legislation and regulation in the presence of market failures. The course covers specific market failures and potential solutions including government regulation.


    Of the many ways that doctoral students typically learn how to do research, two that are important are watching others give seminar presentations (as in Applied Economics Seminars) and presenting one's own research. The BEPP 900 course provides a venue for the latter. Wharton doctoral students enrolled in this course present applied economics research. Presentations both of papers assigned for other classes and of research leading toward a dissertation are appropriate in BEPP 900. This course aims to help students further develop a hands-on understanding of the research process. All doctoral students with applied microeconomic interests are encouraged to attend and present. Second and third year Applied Economic Ph.D. students are required to enroll in BEPP 900 and receive one-semester credit per year of participation.


    This course will cover current microeconomic issues of developikng countries including poverty, risk, savings, human capital, and institutions. We will also explore the causes and consequences of market failures that are common in many developing countries with a focus on credit, land, and labor markets. The course is designed to introduce recent research with focus on empirical methods and testing theories with data.


Latest Research

Rema Hanna and Shing-Yi Wang (2017), Dishonesty and Selection into Public Service: Evidence from India, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 9 (3), pp. 262-290.
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In the News

Labor Mobility for Migrants: How Open Should the Door Be?

Recent Wharton research takes a closer look at the trade-offs between how open nations should be to accepting migrant workers and the rights they should be afforded.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2017/03/13
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