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Susan Chen

Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director
Associate Professor Susan Chen Headshot
316 Hutcheson Hall
Blacksburg, VA

Susan Chen's research focuses on government programs and their effect on a variety of health and labor market outcomes. The government programs she has studied include the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and most recently the educational policies associated with the No Child Left Behind Program. To learn more about her work, click on the information below.


Food and health economics; rural and regional economic development


Ph.D., Economics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2004

M.S., Agricultural Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1995

B.A., Economics and Chemistry, Cornell University, 1992

Currently Teaching

AAEC 5026 - Applied Microeconomics

AAEC 4204 - Food and Agricultural Policy

ALS 3954 - Methods and Planning for Ecuador Research Internship


  • Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech, Aug. 2017 - Present
  • Assistant - Associate Professor, Economics, Finance, & Legal Studies, University of Alabama, Aug. 2010 - Jul. 2017
  • Assistant Professor, Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, Jan 2006 - Jul. 2010
  • Research Scientist, Economics, Duke University, Apr. 2003 - Dec. 2005
  • Research Assistance & Evaluation Specialist, The Measure Evaluation Project at the Carolina Population Cetner, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Aug. 1999 - Jul. 2002
  • Executive Director, Triangle Research Data Center, Duke University, Apr. 2003 - Jan. 2006
  • Administrator (acting), Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, Triangle Research Data Center, Duke University
  • Research Analyst, Contraceptive Use and Epidemiology Division, Family Health International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, Jan. 1996 - Aug. 1997


Finalist (with James Binkley), 2016 Journal of Consumer Affairs Best Paper Award, 2017

"Best of Clinical Nutrition" paper by American Society of Nutrition, 2011

Commissioned Paper Award, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2009

RAND Summer Institute Scholarship, RAND Summer Institute Mini-Medical School, 2008

Outstanding Master's Thesis, American Agricultural Economics Association, 1996

Refereed Journal Articles

CHEN, S. E., Binkley, J. (2016). Consumer Shopping Strategies and Prices Paid in Retail Food Markets. Journal of Consumer Affairs doi:10.1111/joca.12098.

CHEN, S. E., Moser, A., Nayga, R. (2015). Too Busy to Eat with Kids: Parental Work and Children’s Eating. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 37(3) – lead article, & podcast with editor.

CHEN, S. E., Florax, R., Snyder, S. (2013). Obesity and Fast Food in Urban Markets: A New Approach using Geo-referenced Micro Data. Health Economics, 22(7).

CHEN, S. E., Liu, J., Binkley, J. (2012). An Exploration of the Relationship Between Income and Eating Behavior. Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, 41(1).

Moser, A., CHEN, S.E., Jilcott, S., Nayga, R. (2012). Associations between maternal employment and time spent in nutrition-related behaviours among German children and mothers. Public Health Nutrition, 15(7).

CHEN, S. E., Bhagowalia, P., Shively, G. (2011). Input Choices in Agriculture: Is There a Gender Bias? World Development, 39(4).

Bhagowalia, P., CHEN, S. E., Masters, W. (2011). Effects And Determinants Of Mild Underweight Among Preschool Children Across Countries And Over Time. Economics & Human Biology, 9.

Jilcott, S., Liu, H., Dubose, K., CHEN, S. E., Kranz, S. (2011). Food Stamp Participation Is Associated With Fewer Meals Away From Home, Yet Higher Body Mass Index And Waist Circumference In A Nationally Representative Sample. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 43(2).

Coddington, J., Sands, L., Edwards, N., Kirkpatrick, J. CHEN, S. E., (2011). Quality of Health Care Provided at a Pediatric Nurse-Managed Clinic. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. 23.

CHEN, S. E., Florax, R., Snyder, S. Miller, C.C. (2010). Obesity and Access to Chain Grocers. Economic Geography, 86(4).

CHEN, S. E., Florax, R. (2010). Zoning for Health: The Obesity Epidemic and Opportunities for Local Policy Intervention. Journal of Nutrition, 140(6).

CHEN, S. E., Van der Klaauw, H. (2008). The Work Disincentive Effects Of The Disability Insurance Program In The 1990's. Journal of Econometrics, 142(2).

CHEN, S. E., Guilkey, D.K. (2003) Determinants of Contraceptive Method Choice in Rural Tanzania Between 1991 and 1999, Studies in Family Planning, 34 (4).

Welsh, M., Feldblum, P., CHEN, S. E. (1997) Sexually Transmitted Disease Risk Assessment Used Among Low-Risk Populations in East/Central Africa: A Review, East African Medical Journal, 4 (12).


Books, Monographs, Chapters of Books

Waldorf, B., CHEN, S. E. “Healthcare Accessibility and Health Outcomes” in Progress in Spatial Analysis: Theory and Computation, and Thematic Applications, edited by A. Paez, J. Le Gallo, R.N. Buliung and S. Dall’Erba, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 2010.

Deller, S.C., CHEN, S. “The Impact of Native American Gaming on Rural Areas: The Case of Wisconsin.” in Gambling: Public Policies And The Social Sciences, edited by W.R. Eadington and J.A. Cornelius, University of Nevada-Reno, 1997.


Other Publications

CHEN, S. E., Lim, S., Mobley, A. (2012) “An Economic Evaluation of the Family Nutrition Program in Indiana”. Research Report, Department of Nutrition, Purdue University.

CHEN, S. E., Unal, E., Waldorf, B. (2008). “Healthcare Accessibility in Indiana”. Purdue Center for Regional Development. (PCRD-R-5) November, 2008.

Unal, E., CHEN, S. E, and Waldorf, B. “How Accessible is Healthcare in Your County?” Purdue Agricultural Economics Report, August 2007.