Chang Cai

Chang Cai

PhD Student in Applied Economics

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


I am a Ph.D. candidate in Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Illinois. My research interests focus on issues related to parks, outdoor recreation, and adaptation to climate change and extreme events. I’m currently working to understand how tourists perceive and respond to raging wildfires and wildfire smoke in national parks. My research frequently explores the use of interesting geospatial data and leverages the tools of causal inference and machine learning.

You can download my CV and Job Marrket Paper here.

  • Environmental Economics
  • Spatial Statistics
  • Machine Learning
  • Ph.D. in Agricultural and Applied Economics, 2022*

  • M.S. in Applied Statistics, 2022*

    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

  • M.S. in Economics, 2013

    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

  • B.A. in International Business, 2012

    Huazhong Univeristy of Science and Technology

📃 Working Papers

Integrating Social Values with GPS Tracks through Denali National Park and Preserve
Revisiting the Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture through Spatially-varying and Place-tailored Ricardian Estimates


Teaching Assistant


  • ACE 100: Introduction to Applied Microeconomics, Lead weekly discussion section (Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021)
  • ACE 264: Applied Statistical Methods & Data Analytics 2, Grader (2021 Spring)
  • ACE 449: Retirement & Benefit Planning, Grader (2020 Spring)