Working languages: English, Mandarin, French, German, Italian
Nan Zhang is a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute.
He is a political scientist with a research focus on corruption, social norms, and political culture.
Nan defended his PhD from Stanford University in June 2014, and he also holds a JD from Stanford Law School. His academic interests span the fields of comparative politics, behavioural economics, and legal sociology, and international relations.
Nan’s dissertation uses social norms theory to understand why individuals often perpetuate and tolerate corrupt practices, despite regarding such behaviour as morally dubious. His empirical approach is diverse, encompassing a combination of cross-national statistical analysis, historical case studies and behavioural experiments.
During his Max Weber Fellowship, he hopes to pursue research on two separate projects. The first uses a regression-discontinuity design in combination with cross-national survey data to understand how citizens’ trust in governments and attitudes towards tax compliance change in response to anti-corruption crackdowns. The second project investigates how the willingness to comply with tax demands is influenced by actual and perceived income inequality and the “fairness” of the income distribution.
Nan has taught a variety of courses in American law, international politics and development at Stanford University.