Social Science Seminar

ProfessorZHAO(Konishi), Meng

ZHAO(Konishi), Meng

I am an applied economist with expertise in health economics and applied econometrics. Using microeconomic data from China and Japan, my research analyzes consumer’s human capital investment, health inequality and the effects of public policies. With extensive working experience in international institutes and universities in the U.S., I hope to help the students prepare well for the opportunities and challenges to be faced in the global business world tomorrow.


  • Introduction to the Chinese Economy
  • Economic Analysis of Chinese Society
  • Modern Chinese Economy
  • Health Economics
  • Basic Seminar Ⅰ・Ⅱ
  • Advanced Seminar Ⅰ・Ⅱ
  • Graduation Seminar

Introduction to the Chinese Economy is an introductory course that provides an overview of the historical background and economic systems and policies of the Chinese economy. Economic Analysis of Chinese Society, a course for the second-year students, aims to help students to develop a better understanding of various social issues in China, such as poverty and inequality, through the lens of real economic data and data analysis practice. The third course I teach is called Modern Chinese Economy, which provides an overview of diverse backgrounds of Chinese economy and guides students to use economic tools to explore, understand and analyze the dynamic transformation of Chinese economy and society. Lastly, Health Economics, a more advanced course for the senior students, provides an introduction to the principles of health economics and demonstrates how economic concepts and theories can be used to illustrate issues related to health, health care, and health policy.


Students are expected to develop a better understanding of the linkage between the real-world problems and what they have learned in class, through intensive reading, in-class discussion of case studies, as well as the analysis of real economic data. Throughout the whole semester, students are required to conduct a research project that analyzes current social issues of their interests qualitatively and quantitatively, while learning the basic skills of conducting social science research. The Advanced Seminars and Graduation Thesis Seminars engage students in the learning of Health Economic, with a focus on using economic analytical tools to analyze social issues related to economic development, health, education and social security.


2022 Professor, the Faculty of International Social Sciences, Gakushuin University
2016 Associate Professor, the Faculty of International Social Sciences, Gakushuin University
2013 Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, The University of Tokyo (-2016)
2010 Assistant Professor, Waseda Institute for Advanced Study, Waseda University (-2013)
2010 Ph.D. in Applied Economics, University of Minnesota
2010 Adjunct Professor, Department of Economics, Williams College, U.S.
2009 Adjunct Professor, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, U.S.
2008 Research Assistant, International Food Policy Research Institute, U.S.
2007 Research Assistant, Minnesota Population Center, U.S.
2005 Consultant, World Bank, Washington D.C., U.S. (-2006)
2002 B.A. in Economics, Wuhan University, China

Fields of Specialization

Health EconomicsChinese EconomyApplied Econometrics

Research content

My research interest has evolved around health and education economics, with a primary focus on human capital, which is defined as the capabilities and knowledge embodied in human labor. Individuals often need to make decisions on the investments in their human capital to increase their labor productivity or welfare in the future. For example, they need to choose how many years of schooling to receive or the right amount of medical care services to purchase. My research examines how individuals make human capital investments as well as their effects on labor productivity, using microeconomic data from China and Japan. I am now also very interested in social security, income and health inequality in Japan.

Major Publications

  • Meng Zhao, Yoshifumi Konishi, and Haruko Noguchi, Retiring for Better Health? Evidence from Health Investment Behaviors in Japan, Japan and the World Economy 42, p56-63, 2017
  • Yoshifumi Konishi and Meng Zhao, Can Green Car Taxes Reduce Emissions? Evidence from Japanese New Car Market, Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (JAERE) 4(1), p51-87, 2017
  • Paul Glewwe, Albert Park, and Meng Zhao, A Better Vision for Development: Eyeglasses and Academic Performance in Rural Primary Schools in China, Journal of Development Economics 122, p170-182, 2016
  • Meng Zhao, Yoshifumi Konishi and Paul Glewwe, Does Information on Health Status Lead to a Healthier Lifestyle? Evidence from China on the Effect of Hypertension Diagnosis on Food Consumption, Journal of Health Economics 32(2), p367-385, 2013
  • Meng Zhao, Yoshifumi Konishi and Paul Glewwe, Does Smoking Affect Schooling? Evidence from Teenagers in Rural China, Journal of Health Economics 31(4), p585-599, 2012
  • Meng Zhao and Paul Glewwe, What Determines Basic School Attainment in Developing Countries? Evidence from Rural China, Economics of Education Review 29(3), p451-460, 2010
  • Paul Glewwe and Meng Zhao, Attaining Universal Primary Completion by 2015: An Evaluation of Cost Estimates, IN: Educating All Children: A Global Agenda, edited by Joel E. Cohen, David E. Bloom and Martin B. Malin. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006


Principal Investigator, Grants-in-Aid for Young Scholars B, April 2011- March 2013
Principal Investigator, Grants-in-Aid for Young Scholars B, April 2013- March 2016


E-mail : ZHAO(Konishi), Meng

Office : South 2-406