Picture of Danyan Zha

Columbia logo

Danyan Zha | 查丹燕
Welcome to my website! I graduated from Columbia University and will join Shanghai University of Finance and Economics as an Assistant Professor in Economics starting July 2019.

Email : dz2266@columbia.edu

Fields: Applied microeconomics; Development economics; Family economics.

Curriculum Vitae

Working Papers

  • "Schooling Expansion and Marriage Market: Evidence from Indonesia".

    This paper analyzes how education distribution affects the marriage market (in particular, female marriage age) by exploiting a massive primary school construction program in Indonesia in the late 1970s as a quasi-natural experiment. Using the variation across regions in the number of schools constructed and the variation across birth cohorts, I show that in densely populated areas, primary school construction did not affect primary school attainment rate. Moreover, the program decreased secondary school attainment rate for both men and women due to a crowding out of teacher resources. Using this change in the education distribution as a source of variation and taking advantage of the large average spousal age gap (five years), I show a woman marries earlier when average education of other women decreases holding their potential husbands’ education distribution unchanged. I then develop a novel two-to-one dimensional matching model with transferable utilities in an OLG framework and show that the empirical finding suggests that in Indonesia, male education is complementary to both characteristics of women: education and youth.

  • "Multidimensional Matching: Hukou Status in the Marriage Market".

    Following P. Chiappori et al. (2012), I develop a two-dimensional matching model on the marriage market in China, where individuals differ in a continuous attribute (e.g. socioeconomic status) and a discrete attribute (hukou status). Surplus gain from marriage depends on the discrete characteristic with the rationale that an urban hukou is much more valuable than a rural hukou, it’s harder for a husband to move to the wife’s place and a limited quota of hukou change is available upon marriage. I first derive some general properties of the stable matching, then characterize the closed-form solutions by specifying a quadratic surplus function. Using China 1990 1% sample census, and proxying socioeconomic status by educational attainment, model predictions are validated. There are fewer across-hukou type marriages and even fewer rural husband - urban wife match. Matching is assortative on education within each marriage type. Urban husbands with rural wives have on average fewer schooling years than those with urban wives.

Work in Progress

  • "Gender Norm, Labor Supply and Marriage Market".

    Previous studies have found a sharp mass decline to the right of 1/2 in the probability density function of wife income share within household. Incorporating this gender norm into a household model, I found a testable prediction on labor supply: male labor supply is decreasing with wife’s wage when her potential wage is lower than his, however, it’s going to increase with wife’s wage when her potential wage is higher than his. With this micro-founded marital surplus, I then introduce a matching model on potential wages, which still predicts positive assortative matching on wages.

  • "What I Missed: Marriage Outcomes of Sent-Down Youth in China", with Lu Liu.

    During 1966 and 1978 in China, 17 million youth were sent down to countryside. Using a dataset on monozygotic twins in China, we analyzed the impact of this experience on their future marriage outcomes. We found an insignificant impact on females but for males: three years’ sent-down experience increased first marriage age by 0.384 years and decreased spousal consumption share by 30%.

  • "The Hong Kong Marriage Market in the Past Three Decades", with So Yoon Ahn and Edoardo Ciscato.


  • Teaching Assistant for "Intermediate Microeconomics" (Spring 2018).

  • Teaching Assistant for "Economics of Information" (Fall 2017).

  • Teaching Assistant for "Market design" (Spring 2016, Spring 2017).

  • Teaching Assistant for "Microeconomics Analysis I (PhD)" (Fall 2015).

  • Instructor for "Economic Statistics" (Summer 2013) at University of Maryland, College Park.