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

Research Departments & Organizations

School of Public Health: YSPH Global Health Concentration

Yale Institute for Global Health

MacMillan Center

Research Interests

Aging; Air Pollution; Child; Climate Change; Cognition; Economics; Pensions; Social Behavior; Social Networking

Research Summary

Dr. Chen’s research fields involve fetal and early childhood development, population aging and public policies, climate change and health, and quality of life.

Extensive Research Description

Professor Chen currently works on six main projects:

  • Leading a research team to better understand the long lasting impact of air pollution on happiness, mental health, cognitive functioning, productivity, and the economy;
  • Leading investigations on social security reform and healthy aging;
  • Co-leading a team to explores the  linkage between the two ends of life to better understand how early childhood circumstances determine health disparities in old age;
  • Evaluating major medical reforms in China that affect behavior and well-being of 1.4 billion population;
  • Working on a novel transdisciplinary project, the CHALLENGE (China Longitudinal Environmental, Genetic, and Economic Cohort), that studies 30,000 children aged 0-6 years old who were recruited at conception;
  • Co-leading a longitudinal household survey in rural China with a unique social network data collection to better understand social networks and health behaviors.


  • 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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