Cell: 801-824-5537

My name is Zhi Li, born in the late 1980s in a small city from China. I witnessed the great transformation of China's economy, during which lots of workers were struggling for their lives. The formation of my view towards the world and society is deeply intertwined with such childhood experience, which makes labor economics research as the center in my current and future career, because I care and would like to contribute to a better world.

I am now a PhD candidate at the Department of Economics in University of Utah. My recent work and my research going forward is in labor economics focusing on unemployment, discrimination, wage inequality, labor market regulation and workplace safety. I have a sideline interest in economic history, having submitted a paper on the history of competition between Chinese men and white women in the post-Gold Rush San Francisco labor market.

In my job market paper, I study how the decline of labor unions in the US construction sector influences the wage distribution within the sector. Contrary to previous studies which focus on the deunionization in the total economy, I find the deunionization in the construction industry leads to a downward wage compression (decrease of the wage inequality) with a stronger decline of wage at the top-end of the wage distribution.

I also enjoy the experience of teaching. I have taught Principle Economics and Introductory Statistics for serveral times, and have the capacity to teach history of thought if required.