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Wenchao (Michelle) Jin

Wenchao (Michelle) Jin

Research Economist


MSc Economics (Distinction), University College London, 2013

BA Economics (1st Class), University of Cambridge, 2010


Wenchao joined the IFS in 2010 as a Research Economist in the skills and education sector. She has investigated recent reforms to the Higher Education funding regime, the effects of the National Minimum Wage on young people and on firms, and the impact of Universal Credit. Her current research interests are in the labour market and labour productivity since the great recession.

Academic outputs

Journal article
We show that observed behaviour can be rationalised by the fact that the shadow price of home-cooked food, which accounts for the fact that cooking takes time, has risen relative to the price of ready-to-eat food.
Journal article
The proportion of UK people with university degrees tripled between 1993 and 2015. However, over the same period the time trend in the college wage premium has been extraordinarily flat. We show that these patterns cannot be explained by composition changes.

Reports and comment

Briefing note
The UK higher education sector has expanded remarkably over the past three decades. In 1993, 13% of 25- to 29-year-olds had first degrees or higher degrees. By 2015, this had roughly tripled to 41%. Naturally, one may wonder whether the big expansion has reduced the economic returns to having a ...
This evaluation compares the education outcomes of Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) participants (collected by SMF via participant questionnaires) with outcomes for a group of pupils with similar observable characteristics (such as performance at secondary school and neighbourhood context), ...


This presentation was given at the IFS Public Economic Lectures on 16 December 2013 in London.
Presentation to launch the Fiscal Studies Special Issue June 2013 on the Microeconomic Consequences of the Great Recession, given at IFS on 12 June 2013.