Born in China, Dr. Ren Mu joined the Bush School faculty in 2007 as an assistant professor, having most recently been a research consultant at the World Bank. She received her BA in economics and an MA in law from Nankai University. After that she moved to the United States to pursue additional education, eventually earning a PhD in economics and an M.S. in statistics from Michigan State University. During her graduate work, Dr. Mu focused on empirical research in development economics. This area aligned with her interest in numbers and helped her better understand and explain the development issues she had always found fascinating.
Dr. Mu’s research is in the empirical microeconomics area of development economics. She primarily focuses on decision making of households and individuals in the developing world. Through evidence-based analysis, her research goal is to enhance the understanding of micro foundations for designing and implementing sound development strategies and public policies. To date, Dr. Mu’s research can be grouped into three distinct sets of topics: (1) the determinants and impacts of human capital outcomes, (2) opportunities for rural-urban migration and its impacts on rural households, and (3) the effectiveness and allocations of public investments. In the Bush School, Dr. Mu teaches courses on global economy, economic development in China, and advanced economic development, as well as the study abroad field trip seminars (China) and the Capstone.
Dr. Mu’s move to the Bush School aligned perfectly with her research interests as well as her background. Her interest in economic development and her international experience and background fit very well into the Bush School’s International Affairs department, incorporating both national security and international economic development, In addition, Dr. Mu brings a unique perspective to many of the ongoing international research efforts both within the Bush School and the broader Texas A&M community.