Yan Lau is an Economist and Section Chief of the Fair Credit Access Research & Policy group in the Office of Research at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

His research focuses on applied microeconomics, labor economics, the economics of education, and public policy.

He earned his Ph.D. in Economics at Princeton University in 2013 and his B.A. in Economics at Cornell University in 2008.

Contact Information

Email: yan.lau@cfpb.gov

Phone: (202) 451-1301

Address: 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552

Prior to joining the CFPB in 2022, he worked on consumer protection issues in the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission (2017-2022) and taught in the Economics Department at Reed College (2013-2017). Originally from Hong Kong, Yan has lived (at various points in time) in Seattle, Singapore, New York, New Jersey and Oregon as well. In his free time, he enjoys attempting new recipes, swimming, vacuuming, and playing with his 4-year-old son.


Does Racial Diversity Improve Academic Outcomes? A Natural Experiment in Higher Education Classrooms

Labour Economics, 2022, Vol. 78, October, Article 102254

[ Also SSRN Working Paper #4173227 ]

Economics at the FTC: Multi‑level Marketing and a Coal Joint Venture (with Marta Wosińska, David Givens, Doug S. Smith, Christopher Taylor & Benjamin Wallace)

Review of Industrial Organization, 2021, Vol. 59, pp. 629-650

The Dragon Cohort of Hong Kong: Traditional Beliefs, Demographics, and Education

Journal of Population Economics, 2019, Vol. 32, Issue 1, pp. 219-246

Are Universities Becoming More Unequal? (with Harvey S. Rosen)

The Review of Higher Education, 2016, Vol. 39, No. 4, pp. 479-514

[ Also NBER Working Paper #21432 ]

Working Papers

Tournament Incentives Structure and Effort, or The Art of Carrot Dangling

Presented at Society of Labor Economists Annual Conference 2014

Access to Retirement Savings and its Effects on Labor Supply Decisions

Presented at IZA / RIETI Workshop: Changing Demographics and the Labor Market

The Effectiveness of Cram Schools as Inputs of Education Production

Presented at Hong Kong Economic Association 9th Biennial Conference

Accounting for International Differences in Education Inequality

Presented at Western Economics Association 89th Annual Meeting

Other Research

A Brief Primer on the Economics of Targeted Advertising

FTC Economic Issues Papers, January 2020

Twitter-derived Measures of Sentiment Towards Minorities (2015–2016) and Associations with Low Birth Weight and Preterm Birth in the United States (with Thu T. Nguyen, Hsien-Weng Meng, Sanjeev Sandeep, Matt McCullough, Weijun Yu, Dina Huang & Quynh C. Nguyen)

Computers in Human Behavior, 2018, Vol. 89, pp. 308-315

Discordance in National Estimates of Hypertension Among Young Adults (with Quynh C. Nguyen, Joyce W. Tabor, Pamela P. Entzel, Chirayath Suchindran, Jon M. Hussey, Carolyn T. Halpern, Kathleen M. Harris & Eric A. Whitsel)

Epidemiology, 2011, Vol. 22, Issue 4, pp. 532-541