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PHD Economics, Policy Analysis, Chinese

XXXX University’s PHD Program in Economics is my first choice for graduate school for a variety of reasons foremost of which is the vast opportunity to explore issues in Policy Analysis as an integral feature of your curriculum coupled to the vast diversity of cutting-edge interests represented by your outstanding faculty. I feel strongly that I am a good fit with XXXX because behavioral economics and its impact on policy effectiveness and policy making stand at the center of my intellectual work.

I seek a thoroughgoing immersion in the study of behavior that is characteristic of the financial world and an opportunity to engage in intensive, flexible, interdisciplinary research geared towards preparing me to make my maximum contribution as a Finance professional and someday a teacher in the area of economics and, more specifically, finance. I very much appreciate the way that XXXX has PHD advisor committees consisting of 3-4 advisors; combined with XXXX's "open campus," where students can take classes in their special area of interest and related areas, doing as much interdisciplinary work as they like for a full five years. I appreciate the plethora of resources that XXXX and the surrounding area have to offer. It is my dream school.

I especially look forward to studying under Professor XXXX in the area of behavioral economics and Professor XXXX in public economics and development. I am especially enamored with the work of the latter on inequalities in Asia. I hope to engage myself in the future in research dealing with economic inequalities with respect to gender issues, why women receive a much smaller share of the pie than men and how this might be remedied over time in sustainable ways.

I am proud of the fact that I spent one year in college producing a stage play that promoted traditional Chinese culture and literature. Working as a team, we raised about USD$15K, performing the play to the community for free.  This year, 2016, I completed an internship with the United Nations Procurement Section, assisting with procurement strategy and policy development and procurement projects, as well as helping to allocate resources efficiently and maximize the value received. I especially appreciated the opportunity to learn a great deal about the complex ways that the UN cares about more than the price and quality of a product, also taking into consideration such things as whether or not the vendor is a fair trader and respects women’s rights.

While completing my internship at the UN, I volunteered for the Commission for the Status of Women (CSW) 2016 for the United Nations, serving at the registration office helping approximately 4000 participants to register for access. I also volunteered to organize a lecture on sustainable development at the CSW; as one of the volunteers who put in the most hours, I learned a great deal. Even more recently I volunteered to help out with NYU's Development Research Institute Annual Conference focused on the Global Migration Crisis.

I want to learn how to combine behavioral economics, game theory, and experimental economics in the study of how people make decisions and how even small tweaks in policy can generate huge social benefits, especially when the population is very large as is the case in my native China. I hope to make special contributions to the emerging field of behavioral economics with respect to China, in particular, since it is the economy that I understand at the most in-depth level, and also the one with which I am most concerned, as a Chinese woman, a human being, and a planetary citizen.

I look forward to becoming an expert in decision-making and the complex ways in which it is related to policy development and public interest. My long term objective is to become a professor and devote my life to research. I audited a PHD level Experimental Economics class for one semester, went to the Adam Smith reading group, and attended public lectures in several areas such as neuro-economics. In my Game Theory class in college we were asked to do a research project using game theory and this provided me with the opportunity to build a game theory model on Shill Bidding (a seller placing fake bids in auctions to drive up the price) in English auction, which involved complex mathematical challenges and it was my first time to build an economic model. I spent a lot of extra time working on it under the supervision of the TA, and our group earned an A+ for the project. I continued to do individual research on this subject with my professor serving as my advisor and this helped me to become selected for an Undergraduate Research Scholarship. 

In my Masters Program we did a dissertation in the last semester and our group engaged in rigorous data analysis concerning Total Factor Productivity (TFP) growth in the US and this graduate group was also at the top of our class. In my Applied Linguistic class I earned an A+ on the research project. Even in my English writing class, when writing a paper about the library, discussing its current functions in providing a reading experience, I went out of my way to interview 10 students concerning their reasons for going or not going to the library, and I interviewed the head of our library at our university on why they put certain things in the library, why they changed the arrangements in the library over time, etc. The head of the library was impressed with my questions and she even kindly wrote an email to my professor. My professor was very surprised and thanked me for going above and beyond the requirements of this project

A native speaker of Chinese Mandarin and fluent in English, I also speak intermediate level Korean and I can also read and write Korean. I like drawing, oil painting, and also the traditional Chinese painting. I played tennis before 8th grade, and earned 3rd place in a competition in Beijing. I was also on my high school’s rowing team and we earned the 3rd place among Beijing high schools. Finally, I also enjoy hiking and horseback riding. I’ve traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Maldives, and Japan; this will help me to contribute to your wonderful celebration of diversity at XXXX.

I thank you for considering my application to your PHD Program in Economics.

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