Yan Chen is a professor in the School of Information. She also holds an appointment as research professor with the U-M Institute for Social Research.
Her research interests are in behavioral and experimental economics, mechanism design, voting theory, and public finance. The fundamental challenge her research addresses is the design of robust economic mechanisms when agents are not perfectly rational. Mechanism design theory assumes people are perfectly rational and can reach an equilibrium instantly in an economic situation. Chen's research looks at questions of how people really learn in such situations, what types of mechanisms aid that learning, and whether such learning can eventually lead to the states of equilibrium, predicted by theory. She conducts both theoretical and experimental research, bringing human subjects into the laboratory to work with economic games.
Chen, Yan and Onur Kesten. ``Chinese College Admissions and School Choice Reforms: A Theoretical Analysis." Journal of Political Economy forthcoming. Chen, Roy, Yan Chen, Yang Liu and Qiaozhu Mei. ``Does Team Competition Increase Pro-Social Lending: Evidence from Online Microfinance." Games and Economic Behavior forthcoming. Chen, Yan and Joseph Konstan. ``Online Field Experiments: A Selective Survey of Methods." Journal of the Economic Science Association 1 (1): 29-42. July 2015. Chen, Yan, Ernst Fehr, Urs Fischbacher and Peter Morgan. ``Decentralized Matching and Social Segregation." Games and Economic Behavior Volume 90: 17-43, 2015. Liu, Tracy Xiao, Jiang Yang, Lada Adamic and Yan Chen. ``Crowdsourcing with All-Pay Contests: A Field Experiment on Taskcn." Management Science 60 (8): 2020--2037. August 2014. Chen, Yan, Sherry Xin Li, Tracy Xiao Liu and Margaret Shih. ``Which Hat to Wear? Impact of Natural Identities on Coordination and Cooperation." Games and Economic Behavior 84: 58-86. March 2014.