M. Keith Chen

Associate Professor of Economics

Phone: (310) 825-7348

Fax: (310) 825-1581


Cornell Hall, Suite D515


Keith Chen is an Associate Professor of Economics with tenure at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. His research blurs traditional disciplinary boundaries in both subject and methodology, bringing unorthodox tools to bear on problems at the intersection of economics, psychology and biology.

In early work, Professor Chen measured what ex-prisoners lives would have looked like had prison conditions been more or less harsh. In work examining the evolutionary origins of economic behavior, he has shown that when monkeys are taught to use money, they display many of the hallmark biases of human economic behavior, suggesting that some of our most fundamental biases are evolutionarily ancient.

Professor Chen's most recent work focuses on how people's economic choices are influenced by the structure of their language. His work has shown that how a person's language encodes future events influences future-oriented behaviors as diverse as saving, smoking and safe sex.

At Anderson, Professor Chen teaches core strategy and behavioral economics.


Ph.D. Economics, 2003, Harvard University
B.S. Mathematics, 1998, Stanford University


Behavioral Decision Theory, Behavioral Economics, Competitive Strategy, Consumer Choice, Consumer Decision-Making, Crime, Game Theory, Industrial Organization, Intertemporal Choice, Self-control


Grants and Awards:
   2013: Science, Editors' Choice for "The Effect of Language on Economic Behavior"
   2011: Yale SOM Alumni Association, Annual Teaching Award
   2008: Roger F. Murray Prize, The Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance
   2008: American Law and Economics Review, Distinguished Article Prize
   2006-2011: National Science Foundation research grant

A TED Talk on Language and Economics by Professor Chen.

For downloads of Professor Chen's past and current research, please see his website.

To follow Professor Chen on Twitter, click here.