Chen Cheng, PhD

Chen Cheng, PhD

Assistant Professor
Academic AreaEconomics
Areas of InterestOrganizational Economics, Political Economy, Social Networks

Dr. Chen Cheng is currently an Assistant Professor at the Carey Business School, Johns Hopkins University. Before joining Carey, she received her Ph.D. from Managerial Economics and Strategy Department (MECS), Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University in June, 2016. Dr. Chen received her M.A. from China Center for Economic Research (CCER) at Peking University in 2010 and her B.A. in economics from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in 2008.

Dr. Chen is interested in governance in general. Her current work studies 1) how disagreement in organization affects contract design and ownership, 2) How political institutions affect politicians' incentives to experiment and 3) how formal and informal institutions interplay.


  • Ph. D, Economics, Kellog School of Management - Northwestern University 
  • MA, Economics, CCER - Peking University
  • BA, Economics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology


Selected publications

  • Moral Hazard in Teams with Subjective Evaluations RAND Journal of Economics Vol. 52, Issue 1, Spring 2021
  • Laboratories of Democracy: Policy Experimentation under Decentralization (with Christopher Li) AEJ: Micro Vol.11, Issue 3, August 2019
  • Variations in Governmental Responses to and the Diffusion of COVID-19: The Role of Political Decentralization ​(with Jiasheng Li and Chuanchuan Zhang) Frontier of Economics in China Volume 16, Issue 4, December 2021
  • Which Networks Permit Stable Allocations? A Theory of Network-Based Comparisons (with Yiqing Xing) forthcoming in Theoretical Economics

Working papers

  • "Stable Allocations with Network-Based Comparisons" (with Yiqing Xing)  Under Review
  • "A Theory of Multiplexity: Sustaining Cooperation with Multiple Relationships" (with Wei Huang and Yiqing Xing)



  • Statistical Analysis

Honors and distinctions

  • Johns Hopkins Discovery Award