Yan Chen is a professor in the School of Information. She also holds an appointment as research professor with the U-M Institute for Social Research. Her research interests are in behavioral and experimental economics, mechanism design, voting theory, and public finance. The fundamental challenge her research addresses is the design of robust economic mechanisms when agents are not perfectly rational. Mechanism design theory assumes people are perfectly rational and can reach an equilibrium instantly in an economic situation. Chen's research looks at questions of how people really learn in such situations, what types of mechanisms aid that learning, and whether such learning can eventually lead to the states of equilibrium, predicted by theory. She conducts both theoretical and experimental research, bringing human subjects into the laboratory to work with economic games.