Dissertation Defense: “Essays in Labor Economics and Applied Microeconomics”, Yixin Chen

Date and Time
North Hall 2212


Yixin Chen, PhD Candidate, University of California, Santa Barbara


Yixin Chen received her BS in Joint Mathematics-Economics from the University of California, San Diego and is currently a PhD candidate in Economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research interests are labor economics, applied microeconomics, and applied econometrics. Her expertise is to use econometric methods to analyze large data sets and study economic questions.


This dissertation contains three chapters in labor economics and applied microeconomics.

In Chapter 1, I provide the first empirical evidence on the effect of having a female officer in the primary unit on the discovery of domestic violence (DV) in physical abuse incidents. DV is a crime that usually has female victims and is often under-reported. This chapter studies the effect of having a female officer dispatched in the primary unit on the discovery of DV in physical abuse incidents in Milwaukee and Chicago. Using three-year calls for service data and conditional random assignment of officers in the dispatch process, the chapter finds that the existence of a female officer in the primary unit scales up the likelihood of discovering DV in physical abuse incidents by 10% in Milwaukee. Analysis of data from Chicago indicates a similar effect. These results indicate that female officers play an important role in discovering DV.

In Chapter 2, we study the effect of college basketball game days on sexual assault. Basketball games are an important part of college identity and social activities. This chapter studies the effect of college basketball game days on the probability of having local sexual assault reports. Using crime data from universities with top basketball programs and local law enforcement agencies, this chapter shows that home game days have little effect on the probability of  sexual assault reports, while away game days scale up the probability by 14%. This finding is different from those found for football, which likely reflects differences in viewing and partying behavior across the two sports.

In Chapter 3, I study the relationship between school lunch and nutrition. School lunch is an important channel of student's nutrition intake. This chapter studies the potential mechanisms for effects of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act using metabolic analysis. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the chapter finds that this policy decreased the probability of having high total cholesterol by about 30% for students who usually eat school lunches. This result is largely driven by the significant decrease in the proportion of students with high LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. The results reported in the chapter show the powerful impact of this policy on adolescent

JEL Codes: J01, J16, K42, I18

Event Details

Join us to hear Yixin’s dissertation defense. She will be defending her dissertation titled, “Essays in Labor Economics and Applied Microeconomics“. To access a copy of the dissertation, you must have an active UCSB NetID and password.