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Gabriel Z. Chiu

Gabriel Z. Chiu
PhD Candidate in Sociology
MSc. (with Distinction) Sociology, Oxford University, England, 2011
MSc. Management and Strategy, London School of Economics, England, 2009


As an economic sociologist, my scholarship focuses on how economic behaviors are shaped by the broader institutional environment in which they are embedded. Specifically, my dissertation – using interviews, computational text analysis, and experiments—examines the re-emergence and development of entrepreneurship in China since the 1979 market reforms. I pay close attention to the previously overlooked importance of the changing meanings, perceptions, identities, and norms associated with entrepreneurship and demonstrate their impact on China's recent entrepreneurial boom. My dissertation also provides timely insights into the varieties of entrepreneurship embedded in an ideological environment distinct from Silicon Valley. My research has received support from the National Science Foundation, the Association for Asian Studies, the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, and multiple research centers at Stanford.


I am a Humane Studies Fellow at the Institute for Humane Studies and dissertation fellow at the Stanford Institute for Research in the Social Sciences.  Previously, I was a graduate fellow with Stanford King Center on Global Development and a pre-doctoral fellow with the Stanford Center at Peking University, which served as an institutional base for my fieldwork in Beijing.  My doctoral coursework was generously supported by the Stanford Graduate Fellowship in Science & Engineering.

The interdisciplinary education that I have received spans three continents.  Prior to Stanford, I read sociology at Oxford (M.Sc. with Distinction). I also hold an M.Sc. in management and strategy from London School of Economics, and a bachelor's in economics from China.

Thanks to my work experience in management consulting and the tech industry, I maintain close relationships with the industry and communities both within and outside of academia.  I am multilingual in Cantonese, Mandarin Chinese, and English.