Thao Tran

Associate Researcher (Data Analytics)

Thao Tran is an Associate Researcher (Data Analytics) at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. Her work focuses on applied research that aims to promote job security among underserved communities and improve family economic outcomes using linked administrative data. Her current projects involve education attainment and pathways from higher education into the early care and education workforce. In other work, she examines multiple barriers faced by families and their interactions with public sector services to gain a deeper understanding of their utilization of scarce resources available to vulnerable communities. She also works with administrative wage data to investigate its quality with respect to reporting requirements and to build accessible indicators for labor market performance, job stability, and career trajectory. With rich experience in administrative data analysis, program evaluation, and project management, Tran is deeply motivated and committed to generating research findings with relevance for policy, encouraging strong collaboration with agency partners and stakeholders, and improving conditions for the underserved and vulnerable populations.

Prior to coming to Chapin Hall, Tran was Research Associate in the Economics Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, where she conducted extensive research in labor economics and consumer finance. Her work at the Kansas City Fed produced several economic bulletins and economic reviews on the uneven recovery of prime-age labor force participation, job losses and telework ability during the COVID-19 pandemic, the shift toward digital payments for unbanked consumers, and the impact of eviction moratoriums on subprime borrowers. She also managed the real-time GDP tracking model and prepared national economic outlook briefings for stakeholders.

Tran holds a Master of Arts in Social Sciences with Economics concentration from the University of Chicago, a Master of Science in Statistics from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Mathematics, Economics, and Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Master of Arts in Social Sciences, Economics concentration, University of Chicago

Master of Science in Statistics, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Bachelor of Business Administration in Mathematics, Economics, and Finance, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire