Meet Yuanyuan Yi: PhD student of the Global Change and Climate Economics program

Since 2012, Yuanyaun Yi has been enrolled in the Global Change and Climate Economics program at the department of Economics, University of Gothenburg. However, her involvement with the EfD initiative goes back almost a decade. “My target is to bridge research in resources economics and policy-oriented outreach,” says Yuanyuan.



What is your research interest?
I am interested in environmental and resources economics and management, for example, household behavior, quality of government and environmental quality, climate change and its relationship with natural resources and the welfare of people who depend on those resources, and so on.

What do you think of being a doctoral student in the Global Change and Climate Economics program?
I would say, precious! Precious in two aspects: First, the opportunity and experience of heading for a doctor title is obviously both nice and demanding. The first two years of courses have been well-organized and always improving for better quality. I find that the department’s help and support to doctoral students is considerate and enormous.

Why did you choose to study here?
I started my master's studies at the University of Gothenburg in 2009. I was interested in environmental and resources economics and management, and, because of the Environmental Economics Unit's prestige in this area, with no doubt, this department was my first choice.

Finishing my master’s in 2011, I went back to China, and worked at Peking University, with the Chinese EfD center, as a research fellow for a year. In 2012, I made up my mind to go further with academic training. I applied to both Gothenburg and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and decided to come back to Gothenburg. It is the familiarity, the nice and always welcoming feeling, the enthusiastic and supportive atmosphere, and the openness of our department that made up my mind in choosing to continue studying here.

What were your expectations before you came here, and what do you think now?
I expected to take more professional training in economics and econometrics, and to become a professional economics researcher with an international background. I believed this would benefit both myself and others in the future. Most of my expectations are fulfilled and on the way to being fulfilled.

The two-year PhD level courses provided me with classic academic and professional training, and have broadened my mind and thinking in conducting research. The character of the department offers us great channels to learn from the senior researchers and from the internationally invited speakers. Our department has devoted great efforts to its several kinds of research seminar series and regular bridging activities.

Your previous work/educational experience or background?
My main bachelor's degree is in English and Chinese Literature and Language, and I found myself fascinated by economics when I took the courses in economics as a secondary bachelor’s degree at Peking University, which is a top university in China. I also worked for the China center of the Environment for Development Initiative, which has its secretariat located here at the department. During 2009-2011, I studied for my Master’s degree in Environmental Management and Economics at the Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg.

What do you think of the city and the student life in Gothenburg?
Gothenburg is a lovely and friendly city, which has given me a large number of good memories since the autumn of 2009. I have enjoyed the colorful student life during these years. We party, we fika (the Swedish way of having a coffee), we team up and go out traveling. We explore the city and the country as much as we can. The openness, hospitality, and the unique and exotic Nordic atmosphere have impressed me a lot, and I will cherish all these memories in my future life.

Do you have any plans for the future?
In the near future after I finish my PhD studies, I'd like to stay in academia, preferably applying for a job at one of the top universities in China. First-best would be a faculty position teaching in environmental and resources economics, and doing research in economics related fields.

My target is to bridge research in resources economics and policy-oriented outreach, contributing to improving the livelihood of people relying on natural resources, and also facilitating structural transformation on a larger scale, for regional, subnational, and national growth.

By: Marie Andersson

News | 26 January 2016