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The Pamela and Kenneth Fong Graduate Student Fellowship

2012-13 Fellowship Recipients

Liang Bai is a Ph.D. candidate in Economics whose research focuses on key questions in development economics and health economics in China. Liang earned his B.A. from the University of Cambridge in 2005, an M.S. from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain in 2007, as well as an M.S. from the London School of Economics in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics in 2008. A recipient of a Dean’s fellowship in 2011/12, Liang has also served as a graduate student instructor for the Department of Economics and the Haas School of Business. In addition he has worked as a long-term research assistant for Professor Edward Miguel including four months of fieldwork coordination with Innovations for Poverty Action in Kenya. Liang expects to graduate from UC Berkeley in May 2014.

Project description:
Support from the Fong Fellowship will allow Liang Bai to conduct research on improving health knowledge among China’s rural population. In recent years, one of the major priorities of the Chinese government is to close the large urban-rural gap in health outcomes. With much of the focus on infrastructure and capacity building, health education at the grassroots level has been largely overlooked as a policy instrument. Liang’s research will focus on the current level of health knowledge in rural China, whether access to educational material alone is sufficient to improve knowledge, and what the health and economic impacts of improved health knowledge are. He plans to collect three rounds of detailed household survey data in rural Yunnan, an underdeveloped province in southwest China using questionnaires that would be adapted from the China Health and Nutrition Survey.


The Pamela and Kenneth Fong Graduate Student Fellowship will also provide support for Anna Zimmermann, a 2008 Fulbright Research Fellow. Anna is a M.S. candidate in the Department of Global Health and Environment with an anticipated graduation date of September 2013. Graduating with a B.A. in biology with a concentration in environmental studies from Kenyon College summa cum laude in May 2007, she also minored in Chinese. Her current coursework includes epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental and development policy, and Chinese. Anna has completed internships with the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry, Berkeley Air Monitoring Group, and currently works as a graduate student instructor for the department of Environmental Health Sciences. Her research and career interests focus on preventing environmentally mediated disease in China.

Anna Zimmermann will conduct two phases of field research on household air pollution from coal and biomass in rural China. China’s massive population, and its unique position as both the world’s factory and hazardous waste dumping ground has resulted in a substantial environmental burden of disease among its citizens. While most Chinese cities have banned the use of coal within urban homes, many rural dwellers still burn coal and biomass in inefficient stoves as their primary energy source. Anna’s research will gather and analyze data on stove use and air pollution concentrations in a rural village outside Beijing, which currently relies heavily on coal for basic household energy services. Her analysis will form the basis for her master’s thesis on household energy use, air pollution, and the associated health effects in rural China.