umd logo

photo of me

Mary Zaki

Assistant Professor
Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics
Extension Specialist
University of Maryland

2200 Symons Hall
College Park, MD 20740


Brief Biography

Mary joined the University of Maryland in 2014.  Her research focuses on household finance and household consumption issues especially among low income populations.  She currently is studying household spending patterns between paycheck receipts, the effects of high cost credit on food consumption among military families, the influence of food acquisition costs on food stamp month spending, historical consumer credit costs and the effect of school breakfast program expansions on health outcomes and test scores. She received her B.S. and B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Economics from Northwestern University. 

Classroom Survey

Working Papers

Employed in a SNAP? The Impact of Work Requirements on Program Participation and Labor Supply,” with Colin Gray, Adam Leive, Elena Prager and Kelsey Pukelis, 2019.

Heterogeneous Responses to Interest Rate Price Disclosures,” 2019.

Does it Pay to Pay Less Frequently?,” with Jessica Todd, 2019.

Interest Rates: Prices Hidden in Plain Sight,” 2018.

Access to Short-term Credit and Consumption Smoothing within the Paycycle,” 2016. (Revise and Resubmit: Review of Economics and Statistics)

Expanding the School Breakfast Program: Impacts on Children's Consumption, Nutrition and Health,” with Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2014. (Revise and Resubmit: Journal of Policy Analysis and Management)

Works in Progress

“Watt Watchers & the Seesaw of Energy Dieting: Evidence from Low-income Urban Households,” with Sebastien Houde and Catherine Wolfram

“Grocery Delivery and Healthy Eating Incentives in Low Food Access Areas”


AREC250 - Elements of Agricultural and Resource Economics

AREC489O - Economic Perspecitves of Consumption and Food Policy

Extension Activities

Financial Education Summit, Talk: “Success in Financial Behavioral Change,” April 2015

Maryland State Department of Education, Talk: “Incentives for Healthy Eating,” August 2015

Montgomery County Food Council Food Access Group Public Meeting, Speaking on price analysis in “Community Food Access Assessment,” October 2015

Agricultural Outlook and Policy Conference, Organizer and Presenter: “Farm-to-School Panel,” December 2016

Evaluation of the Baltimore City Health Department’s Baltimarket Virtual Supermarket Program