Han Yu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

FCBE 419


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Dr. Han Yu specializes in applied microeconomics. His works focus on health economics, labor economics, the economics of education, and the economics of culture. Another line of his research addresses issues related to subjective well-being. His recent works focus on the broad impact of public health policies, including Medicaid and Medical Marijuana Laws, on crime rates, education, and the labor market. His work has been reported by the Wall Street Journal, the Economists, the National Public Radio, and cited by the New York City Bar Association’s report to the Biden-Harris Administration, among others. Before joining the University of Memphis, Dr. Han Yu obtained his Ph.D. in Economics at Louisiana State University. He also holds a Master’s degree in finance and a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics.


  • Ph.D. Economics, Louisiana State University, 2018
  • M.S. Economics, Louisiana State University, 2016
  • M.S. Finance, Central University of Finance and Economics, China, 2013
  • B.S. Information & Computing Science, Suzhou Univ of Sci & Tech, China, 2010 

Academic Positions

  • Assistant Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of Memphis, August 2022 - present 
  • Director of the Methodist Le Bonheur Center for Healthcare Economics, University of Memphis, August 2022 - present 
  • Assistant Professor of Finance and Applied Economics, Wright School of Business, Dalton State College, August 2020 - May 2022 
  • Postdoc Research Associate, Private Enterprise Research Center, Texas A&M University, August 2018 - August 2020 
  • Editorial Board, Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy, 2019 - 2022 

Teaching Interests

Microeconomics, Health Economics, Economics of Education


Dr. Han Yu discusses recent research on How Chinese Zodiac Superstitions Impact Self-Fulfilling Prophecies:

Research Interests

Health economics, Economics of Education, Labor Economics, and Economics of Culture

Working Papers

“A Welfare Analysis of Medicaid and Crime,” (with Erkmen G. Aslim and Murat C. Mungan) 


“The Effect of Public Health Insurance on Criminal Recidivism,” (with Erkmen G. Aslim, Murat C. Mungan, and Carlos I. Navarro), Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 2022, vol. 41, 45-91. 

“Labor Demand Shocks and Earnings and Employment Differentials: Evidence from the U.S. Shale Oil & Gas Boom,” (with Gregory B. Upton), Energy Economics, 2021, vol. 102, 105462. 

“Am I the Big Fish? The Effect of Ordinal Rank on Student Academic Performance in Middle School,” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2020, vol. 176, pp. 18-41. 

“Can Superstition Create a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? School Outcomes of Dragon Children of China,” (with Naci Mocan), Journal of Human Capital, 2020, vol. 14, 485-534 (Lead article). 

“Income Comparison and Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from Self-Perceived Relative Income Data from China,” Eastern Economic Journal, 2019, vol. 40, 428-462. 

“The Impact of Self-Perceived Relative Income on Life Satisfaction: Evidence from British Panel Data,” Southern Economic Journal, 2019, vol. 86, pp. 726-745. 

“The Impact of High School Curriculum on Confidence, Academic Success, and Mental and Physical Well-Being of University Students,” (with Naci Mocan), Journal of Labor Research, 2019, vol. 40, pp. 428-462. 

“Income Inequality and Financial Reform in Asia: The Role of Human Capital,” (with Jie Li), Applied Economics, 2014, vol. 46, pp. 2920-2935