Nancy Chau

Nancy Chau

  • Professor
  • Area Coordinator for Applied Economics and Policy

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Faculty Expertise

  • International and Development Economics and Policy
  • Decision Making
  • Economics
  • Strategy


Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management


Cornell Directory Entry


Professor Nancy Chau joined the faculty in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell in 1999. Professor Chau's research interests fall under three main areas: international trade, regional economics, and economic development, with particular emphasis on the economics of information and uncertainty. Recent research focuses on index measurement of trade restrictiveness that accounts for second-best argumentation of trade policies, market-based approaches to foster labor and environmental standards via international trade, and the impact of direct farm payments and import barriers on export promotion.

Professor Chau was recently awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship, and the first T. W. Schultz Award of the International Agricultural Economics Association. She is an associate editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, a senior fellow at the Center for Development Research, a research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA Bonn), and member of an expert panel for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Professor Chau has published widely, in journals such as Economic Journal, Economics and Politics, Economica, European Economic Review, International Economic Review, Journal of Economic Growth, Journal of Economic Theory, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Public Economic Theory, and the World Bank Economic Review.

Selected Publications

  • Chau, Nancy. "On Sweatshop Jobs and Decent Work" Journal of Development Economics. 121 (2016): 120-134
  • Basu, Arnab; Chau, Nancy; Kanbur, Ravi. "Contractual Dualism, Market Power and Informality" The Economic Journal. 125.589 (2015): 1534–1573
  • Chau, Nancy; Fare, Rolf. "Shadow Pricing Market Access: A Trade Benefit Function Approach" Journal of Economic Theory. 146.4 (2011): 1631-1663
  • Basu, Arnab; Chau, Nancy; Kanbur, Ravi. "Turning a Blind Eye: Costly Enforcement, Credible Commitment and Minimum Wage Laws" The Economic Journal. 120 (2010): 244-269
  • Basu, Arnab; Chau, Nancy; Kanbur, Ravi. "A Theory of Employment Guarantees: Contestability, Credibility and Distributional Concerns" Journal of Public Economics. 93.3-4 (2009): 482-497
  • Basu, Arnab; Chau, Nancy. "Exploitation of child labor and the dynamics of debt bondage" Journal of Economic Growth. 9 (2004): 209-238
  • Chau, Nancy; Färe, R; Grosskopf, S. "Trade Restrictiveness and Efficiency" International Economic Review. 44.3 (2003): 1079-1095
  • Chau, Nancy. "Strategic Amnesty and Credible Immigration Reforms" Journal of Labor Economics. 19.3 (2001): 604-634
  • Basu, A; Chau, Nancy. "Targeting Child Labor in Debt Bondage: Evidence, Theory and Policy" World Bank Economic Review. 17.2 (2003): 255-281

Awards and Honors

  • SUNY Award for Excellence in Teaching (2012)
  • T.W. Schultz Prize for Young Economist (2003) International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE)
  • Humboldt Research Fellowship (2007) Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Recent Courses

  • AEM 7021 - Applied Microeconomics III: Applied General Equilibrium Analysis
  • AEM 9900 - Doctoral-Level Thesis Research
  • AEM 7900 - Graduate-Level Thesis Research
  • AEM 7000 - Individual Study in Applied Economics and Management
  • AEM 4970 - Individual Study in Applied Economics and Management
  • AEM 4300 - International Trade Policy
  • AEM 8900 - Master's Level Thesis Research
  • AEM 4190 - Strategic Thinking
  • AEM 4980 - Supervised Teaching Experience

Academic Degrees

  • PhD The Johns Hopkins University, 1996
  • MA The Johns Hopkins University, 1993
  • BA International Christian University, 1991