Congnan Zhan, Ph.D.


Minneapolis Senior Economic Consultant Data Scientist Cognan Zhan

Congnan Zhan, Ph.D.

Senior Economic Consultant / Data Scientist

Minneapolis Senior Economic Consultant Data Scientist Cognan Zhan


Congnan Zhan is a Ph.D. economist with experience in the areas of antitrust, competition, and intellectual property economics.

As an economic consultant at Robins Kaplan, Dr. Zhan evaluates the economic aspects of antitrust matters, providing analyses on competitive issues for price-fixing and monopolization cases across a variety of retail and manufacturing industries. She has also estimated antitrust damages for settlements and provided support documents for use at trial and other proceedings for high-profile clients, including Best Buy, IKEA, and a substantial class of auto parts purchasers. In addition to her antitrust work, she evaluates damages for intellectual property infringement and identifies the intrinsic values of patents using economic theories and statistical learning methods.

Dr. Zhan has accumulated extensive experience conducting big data analyses, beginning in graduate school and continuing through her present consulting practice. She is proficient in analyzing and synthesizing large datasets for various purposes, including estimating demand curves and prices, valuing settlements, and pinpointing valuable patents

Prior to joining the firm, Dr. Zhan studied at North Carolina State University, where she earned her Ph.D. in economics. At NC State, her graduate studies focused on topics in empirical industrial organization: her primary research employed discrete choice models and state-of-art optimization methods to analyze price discrimination in health-food products. Dr. Zhan also assisted with several research projects concerning energy efficiency at the Climate Change Policy Partnership with Duke University and the North Carolina Solar Center. As a graduate student, she taught courses on the fundamentals of economics for three years.

Born and raised in Beijing, Dr. Zhan received her B.A. in international economics and trade from Beijing Technology and Business University. Mandarin Chinese is her native language.

  • North Carolina State University, Ph.D. in Economics (2012); Dissertation: “Essays on Empirical Analysis of Price Discrimination”
  • North Carolina State University, M.A. in Economics (2008)
  • Beijing Technology and Business University, B.A. in International Economics and Trade (2006)
Professional Associations
  • The American Economic Association (AEA)
  • The Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA)


Links to full publications and news releases.


September 13, 2022
Patent Value: Scoring Patents Using Characteristics Of Patents In Litigation
Christopher K. Larus, Miles A. Finn, Congnan Zhan, Joseph (Yu) Chen, and Shelley Gilliss - les Nouvelles