Xi Chen, PhD

Assistant Professor of Public Health (Health Policy) and Assistant Professor in the Institution for Social and Policy Studies; Affiliated Faculty, Department of Economics

Departments & Organizations

School of Public Health: Climate Change and Health | Health Policy & Management | YSPH Global Health Concentration

Yale Institute for Global Health

MacMillan Center


Xi Chen, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Global Health Policy and Economics at Yale University. He is a faculty fellow at Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies, Yale Climate Change and Health Initiative, Yale Macmillan Center, Yale Institute for Network Science, and Yale-China Association. His research focuses on public policies related to childhood development, population aging, climate change and health, and quality of life.

Professor Chen is a Senior Consultant at the United Nations, President-Elect (2016-18) and President (2018-20) of China Health Policy and Management Society, Research Fellow at the IZA Institute of Labor Economics (Germany), Fellow and Research Cluster Lead in Environment and Human Capital at the Global Labor Organization, Associate Editor of China Health Review, Adjunct Professor at Peking University and Nanjing University, and Alumni Affiliate of Cornell Institute on Health Economics, Health Behaviors & Disparities.

Professor Chen's work has been recognized through numerous prestigious awards, such as the Outstanding Dissertation Award of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, the George Warren Award, the Macmillan Award, the James Tobin Award, the Kempf Award, and the PEPPER Scholar Award. His research funded by multiple NIH and NSF grants has been broadly covered in popular media worldwide, such as Financial Times, The Economist, The Washington Post, The Times of London, The New York Times, The Guardian, Time Magazine, Business Insider. He is a commentator at China Central Television.

Professor Chen has supervised more than 20 postdoctoral fellows and PhD students worldwide. Besides a number of PhD dissertation awards he advised, his Yale College students have won outstanding senior essay awards, such as the Ronald Meltzer/Cornelia Awdziewicz Economics Award. Professor Chen obtained a Ph.D. in Applied Economics from Cornell University.

Education & Training

PhD Cornell University (2012)
MS Nanjing Agricultural University (2007)

Honors & Recognition

  • Outstanding Doctoral DissertationAgricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) (2013)

  • Best China Paper, Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA)AAEA (2011)

Professional Service

  • China Center for Economics of Human Development (2018 - Present) Fellow

  • Peking University (2018 - Present) Adjunct Professor

  • Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Centers (OAIC) (2017 - Present) PEPPER Scholar

  • Global Labor Organization (2017 - Present) Fellow; Cluster Lead (Environment and Human Capital in Developing Countries)

  • China Health Policy and Management Society (2016 - Present) President-Elect (2016-2018); President (2018-2020)

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) (2015 - Present) Reviewer, Economics Program

  • China Health Review (peer-reviewed journal) (2015 - Present) Associate Editor

  • IZA Institute of Labor Economics (2014 - Present) Fellow

  • Yale-China Association (2014 - Present) Advisor, Chia Family Health Fellowship

  • United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (2013 - Present) Reviewer

  • United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (2012 - 2014) Consultant


  • Birth Spacing and Child Health Jakarta, Indonesia (2012)

    This collaborative project investigates a causal connection between birth spacing and broad dimensions of child and maternal health status and dynamics using four waves of Indonesia Family Life Survey (IFLS).

  • New Approaches to Measuring Poverty and Vulnerability China; Helsinki, Finland (2011)

    Working with researchers from United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), this project seeks innovative ways to measuring poverty and vulnerability that contribute to poverty and behavioral Economics.

  • Social Network Data Collection Anshun, China (2009)

    Working with researchers from International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, I'm designing and implementing a unique social network data collection in the poorest Guizhou province in China. The detailed network collection involves multiple...

  • Poverty and Public Investment (2004-) Guiyang, China (2004)

    Working together with researchers from International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, I have been engaging in developing and implementing a census-type longitudinal household and individual survey in rural western China. The initial goal of the...

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