Crystal S. Yang

Bennett Boskey Professor of Law,
Harvard Law School

For more information, contact:

  • Elisa Olivieri

or any member of our senior staff.


    • Harvard University, Ph.D., economics
    • Harvard Law School, J.D. (magna cum laude)
    • Harvard University, A.M., statistics
    • Harvard University, A.B., economics (summa cum laude)

Crystal Yang is a labor economist and statistician specializing in the economics of discrimination, applied econometrics, and empirical law. Professor Yang’s expertise centers on algorithmic bias, labor markets, consumer bankruptcy, and criminal justice issues. The U.S. Supreme Court has cited her scholarship on the application of U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

Professor Yang’s current research includes empirical projects on human oversight of algorithms and healthcare delivery in correctional facilities. She has analyzed how pre-trial detention affects employment and estimated the impact of local labor market conditions on criminal recidivism. Professor Yang has also evaluated the effect of Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection on post-filing financial outcomes.

Professor Yang publishes research in leading academic journals, including the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and the New England Journal of Medicine. She is a coeditor at the Journal of Public Economics and serves on the editorial board at the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy. The American Law Institute honored Professor Yang with its Early Career Scholars Medal, awarded biennially to outstanding early-career law professors whose public policy work has the potential to improve the law.

Numerous media outlets have featured Professor Yang’s research, notably The Economist, the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.

At Harvard Law School, Professor Yang teaches courses on criminal law, quantitative reasoning, and algorithms and the law. She received the prestigious Albert M. Sacks-Paul A. Freund Award for Teaching Excellence in 2023.

Professor Yang is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), where she also codirects the Crime Working Group. She has held visiting appointments at Columbia Law School, New York University School of Law, and Princeton University.