Ren Zhang

Ren completed his Ph.D. under the supervision of Professor Nathan Balke in 2017 and joined the Department of Economics at Bowling Green State University located in Bowling Green, Ohio. In Fall 2020, he moved to Texas State University, located in San Marcos between Austin and San Antonio. Before coming to SMU for his PhD, Ren completed his MA in Economics at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing and his BA in Statistics at Tianjin University of Finance and Economics in Tianjin.

Ren's primary research field is macroeconomics. He specializes in using macroeconometric techniques to understand issues related to monetary policy. His experience at the Dallas Fed while a PhD student at SMU helped him hone and developed these research interests. The relationships he built as a PhD student with his advisor Nathan Balke in the economics department at SMU and economists at the Dallas Fed continue in the form of co-authoring relationships today. His research has already appeared in Economic Inquiry, Empirical Economics and the Journal of Forecasting.

Ren's paper published in Economic Inquiry on the natural rate of interest was cited by Richard Clarida, the vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, when he explained the recent changes in the Fed’s long term goals for monetary policy.

I am very grateful for the PhD education at SMU. We have small lectures instructed by great professors at SMU as well as senior economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The training at SMU brings me to the frontier of economics. Of course, I am very grateful for the support from my advisor, Nathan Balke, who helped me build my research interest in empirical macroeconomics.

I also benefited a lot from our connection with the Dallas Fed. Mark Wynne and Enrique Martinez-Garcia taught me monetary economics at SMU, and later became my coauthors. I also interned at the Dallas Fed for two summers during my PhD. Through the internship, I not only completed three research papers but also knew many other economists at the Dallas Fed and this still benefits me a lot today.

Last but not least, I also like the location of SMU very much. The great location of our university is usually ignored by many people. SMU is located in a burgeoning, international, convenient but affordable city which attracts many young people. Compared to the programs in the rural areas, our great location helps a lot in maintaining a balance between productive research and astonishing life.
— Ren Zhang, Texas State University

Ren's Website