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Liang Zhang

Liang Zhang

Associate Professor

300 Rackley
Office Phone: (814) 863-3774


  1. PhD: University of Arizona, Higher Education Cornell University, Economics


In addition to his appointment in Labor and Employment Relations, Liang Zhang is a research associate in the Center for the Study of Higher Education and an associate professor of Education Policy Studies at Penn State. Prior to coming to Penn State in 2009, he taught at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and Vanderbilt University. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Zhang's research focuses on economics and finance of higher education, particularly on the role of governments and institutions in affecting institutional performances and student outcomes. His recent studies include the return of college education and quality, and public funding and institutional performances. Currently, he is interested in issues on academic labor market, especially the increasing usage of contingent faculty at colleges and universities. His work has appeared in The Review of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, Journal of Human Resources, Economics of Education Review, Educational Policy, and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and Higher Education: Handbook of Theory