Xu Tan Promoted to Associate Professor, with Tenure


The Department of Economics is delighted to announce that Xu Tan has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure. Tan was hired by the Department of Economics as an Assistant Professor in 2013. She conducted her graduate studies at Stanford University, where she received her Ph.D. in Economics in 2013, and MS in Financial Mathematics in 2011. Prior to that, she attended Peking University where she received a BS in both Economics and Mathematics in 2007.

Tan’s work has been praised for its singular approach and real world applications. Additionally, Tan has published in a wide range of renown journals and has been recognized for her excellent teaching. Please join us in congratulating Associate Professor Tan!

Tan and her co-authors (Jackson and Rodrigues-Barraquer) published in the American Economic Review, a Top 5 journal, in 2012 a paper entitled “Social Capital and Social Quilts: Network Patterns of Favor Exchange,”.  They model a network they refer to as “social quilts” which examines how individuals induce cooperation and exchange favors without relying on formal contracts or laws.  They study a framework where social pressure, via a threat of losing a network of relationships, can sustain cooperation.  There are numerous applications to real-world phenomena like giving a small loan or providing emergency help to a friend.

Tan’s work has been highlighted for its real world value and application.  Another example is her work with UW colleague Rachel Health on the impact of labor on women’s autonomy in developing nations. Their research shows that developing world women are gaining more stature because of the economics opportunities presented to working people. Tan and Heath have published two papers on this topic, which are listed below. These papers garnered interested from developing nations, for whom the information is directly applicable.  More information on Tan’s research can be found at: https://sites.google.com/site/xutanhomepage/research

Tan teaches 400 and 500 level courses in behavioral economics as well as both introductory and advanced courses in game theory. Tan was honored for her dedication to her students in 2018 when she was awarded the Henry T. Buechel Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching.

Citation of papers mentioned:

Jackson, Matthew O., Tomas Rodriguez-Barraquer, and Xu Tan. 2012. “Social Capital and Social Quilts: Network Patterns of Favor Exchange,” American Economic Review, 102(5): 1857-1897.

Heath, Rachel and Xu Tan. 2020. “Intrahousehold Bargaining, Female Autonomy, and Labor Supply: Theory and Evidence from India.” Journal of the European Economic Association, 18(4):1928-1968

Heath, Rachel and Xu Tan. 2018. “Worth Fighting For: Daughters Improve their Mother's Autonomy in South Asia,” Journal of Development Economics, 135: 255-271.

Other important works:

Li, Wei and Xu Tan. 2020. “Locally Bayesian Learning in Networks.” Theoretical Economics, 15: 238-278.

Tan, Xu. 2016. “Information Revelation in Auctions with Common and Private Values,” Games and Economic Behavior, 97: 147-165.

People Involved: