Yang-Yang Zhou is a doctoral candidate in the Politics Department at Princeton University, specializing in the comparative politics of the developing world. Her work is motivated by questions surrounding national identity, conflict, and development in the context of migration, particularly within sub-Saharan Africa.

Her book project explores how the presence of refugees reshapes the social and political identities and behaviors of nearby citizens. It theorizes how host citizens who are exposed to refugees identify with their national identity more strongly and mobilize for better public goods provision. To test this theory, she combines geo-referenced observational data with a survey experiment, community focus groups, and interviews with government and humanitarian aid officials. This research is supported by the National Science Foundation.

She also designs and experimentally evaluates development interventions in politically challenging contexts, alongside academic and non-governmental organization collaborators. This work includes the first individual-level randomized controlled trial of economic interventions at wartime, conducted in Afghanistan, and a series of experimental studies to understand the link between citizen self-efficacy and public goods participation in rural East Africa.

Selected Publications

Design and Analysis of the Randomized Response Technique (with Graeme Blair and Kosuke Imai). Journal of the American Statistical Association, Volume: 110, Issue: 511 (September 2015), pages 1304 - 1319.

Selected Honors and Awards

National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow

Charlotte Elizabeth Procter Princeton Honorific Fellow

Program for Quantitative and Analytical Political Science (QAPS) Fellow