Yiyu Chen

Research Scientist II

Yiyu Chen headshot 2023

Research Focus

Education & certification

PhD, Social Welfare; MS, Social Work; MS, Consumer Behavior and Family Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Yiyu Chen

Research Scientist II, Bethesda, MD

Yiyu Chen, PhD, is a research scientist II who conducts research on issues that affect the economic well-being of children across races/ethnicities, family structures, immigration status, and other socioeconomic characteristics.

At Child Trends, Dr. Chen examines children’s access to—and the effects of—various antipoverty programs, including child support, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Economic Impact Payments, rental and medical assistance, and unemployment insurance benefits. She is currently conducting equity assessments of child support programs and an investigation of the effect of rental assistance on food hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Chen’s interest in the well-being of Latino and immigrant families has led her to develop several products on child poverty, food hardship, and health insurance coverage under the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families.

Prior to joining Child Trends, Dr. Chen served as a researcher for the California Department of Social Services, where she analyzed large child welfare administrative data sets and provided evaluation technical assistance to programs funded by the state to prevent child maltreatment. She has also worked at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP), where she examined the effects of the School Breakfast Program on student outcomes, child support payments among unmarried parents with low incomes, and demographic trends underlying recent declines in child support order rates.

Dr. Chen has published articles about child support, child custody, and the EITC in Social Service Review, Children and Youth Services Review, and Health Affairs. She has been a member of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management since 2013.