Emma Zang

Emma Zang's picture
Assistant Professor of Sociology, Biostatistics (Secondary) and Global Affairs (Secondary)
Ph.D., Public Policy, Duke University,2019
M.A., Economics, Duke University,2017
M.Phil., Social Science, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2014
Areas of Interest: 
Health, Inequality, Demography, Quantitative Methods, China, Family
493 College Street, Room 409
Phone number: 

 Office Hours: Fridays 3-5pm  and by appointment. 

Emma Zang’s research interests intersect at the nexus of health and aging, family demography, and inequality, employing advanced data science and statistical tools.  Her scholarship has primarily dealt with how families shape inequality in the United States and China. This focus has led her to study: how intra-household dynamics shape inter-household inequality; how family policies, including marriage laws and flexible work arrangements, mitigate or exacerbate gender inequality; how early-life family experience affects later-life health; and, finally, how family affects the aging experience. 

She also develops and evaluates statistical methods to model trajectories and life transitions, aiming to understand health disparities from a life course perspective. Her research primarily focuses on employing Bayesian approaches to: modeling trajectories; integrating multiple data sources; and constructing multi-state life tables using high-dimensional survey data. Additionally, her work evaluates classic demographic and sociological methods, including the Age-Period-Cohort Intrinsic Estimator and the Diagonal Mobility Model.

Her work has appeared in journals such as Nature Human Behaviour, American Journal of Sociology, Demography,  Population and Development Review, Psychological Methods, and JAMA Internal Medicine. Multiple of her projects have been funded by the National Institute of Health. 

Her research has received media coverage from over 100 outlets in the United States, China, South Korea, India, and Singapore. She is a Butler-Williams Scholar and an IMPACT Faculty Scholar of the US National Institute on Aging, and a Next Generation Leader of the Committee of 100. She has been the recipient of the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship from the European Commission, the Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad from the China Scholarship Council, and the Early Career Faculty Scholarship from the OAIC National Coordinating Center of the US National Institute on Aging. Her work has received multiple academic awards from the American Sociological Association, the International Sociological Association Research Committee on Social Stratification and Mobility, IPUMS USA, the Southern Demographic Association, and the Social Science History Association.