Xiao Yu Wang

Assistant Professor of Economics

Note: I am on leave at Columbia University and Yale University in 2016-17.Xiao Yu Wang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Duke University. Her major fields of interest are development economics and microeconomic theory. She uses a combination of theoretical and empirical tools to study the equilibrium emergence, evolution, and persistence of organizations and institutional structure, particularly in the unique environments of developing economies. She believes this is important for a better understanding of inequality, and that enriching our understanding of the status quo enables the design of policies which more effectively help poor people. She specializes in understanding informal financial institutions and relationships by developing empirically-testable models and taking the theoretical predictions to data. She also studies institutions which influence the production and transmission of information, such as credit registries and media channels, as well as markets in which traditional price mechanisms fail. Professor Wang is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economics Research. She received her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013, and her B.A. with honors in economics, in mathematics, and in the liberal arts in 2008.


  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2013

Wang, XY. "Policy-Making and the Adaptability of Informal Institutions." The World Bank Economic Review 29, no. suppl 1 (2015): S174-S181. Full Text