Yinuo (Roma) Wang hails from Beijing, China, and triple majored in economics, mathematics, and applied math and statistics. She chose Johns Hopkins because of its commitment to research and studied economics because ”Economics is a good combination of mathematical and statistical rigor and social science reasoning. I am also passionate about social inequality and I hope my research will allow people to understand our society better and have a positive impact on policy making.”
Roma’s favorite class was Professor Papageorge’s Behavioral Economics. “In this class, I learned to identify social issues and convert them into research problems. I also learned how to combine psychology with economics and upgrade the standard models to be more socially applicable.“
Roma worked for a year as research assistant for Professor Hwang on a cultural economics project. She cleaned up survey data, quantitatively analyzed racial language used in news sources, and created a database on caste in India. She also honed her research skills by working for the 21st Century Cities Initiative, analyzing data on small businesses and reviewing literature.
Roma’s senior thesis examined the interaction between personality traits and peer gender composition on college GPA. “My adviser was Professor Hwang and she taught me a lot in the course of writing this thesis. She helped me focus on a specific research problem and figure out the exact steps I needed to answer it. I also learned a lot about coding techniques and data cleaning and in general enhanced my econometrics skills.”
“My research interest is in labor economics and behavioral economics, with a focus on gender studies. I would like to work in academia because I like doing research, but I also want to start my own non-profit organization to help underprivileged people.”
Roma has great advice for other students: “Economics is a very broad and interdisciplinary subject. Other than taking the mandatory micro- and macro -economics courses, I advise students to seek out the field they are interested in. Having a strong background in math and statistics is useful in studying econometrics and doing research, but there are lots of courses to choose from in the department, just find the ones you like!”