Xiaochen Sun

Xiaochen Sun

PhD Candidate in Public Policy

Carnegie Mellon University


I am a PhD candidate in Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. My research interests lie in the field of energy and environmental economics and policy. My work uses economic and econometric models to examine the impacts of a wide range of policies, including building efficiency, air pollution, and electricity markets. My job market paper studies one of the most critical obstacles hindering the transition to renewable energy sources and focuses on the transmission interconnection process in the United States. Specifically, I examine the impact of cost allocation uncertainty on generators’ decision to ultimately connect to the grid.

Prior to my PhD, I worked as a research analyst at the Duke University Energy Initiative. I earned my B.A. in environmental economics from Renmin University of China and an M.S. in environmental economics and policy from Duke University.

I am on the job market during AY 2023-2024.

Download my Curriculum Vitae.

  • Energy and Environmental Economics
  • Public Economics
  • Empirical Industrial Organization
  • Ph.D. in Public Policy, 2018 - 2024 (expected)

    Carnegie Mellon University

  • M.S. in Environmental Economics and Policy, 2013 - 2015

    Duke University

  • B.A. in Environmental Economics, 2009 - 2013

    Renmin University of China


(2023). Does LEED Certification Save Energy? Evidence from Retrofitted Federal Buildings. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 121: 102866, 2023 (NBER Working Paper No. 28612 and IZA Discussion Paper No. 14211).


Working Papers

Work in Progress

“Impact of a Cap-and-Trade Program on Local Air Pollution: Evidence from the Acid Rain Program”, joint with Karen Clay and Edson Severnini

“Impact of Potential Information Asymmetry in the Interconnection Process”

“Collective Action on Transmission Infrastructure Construction”

“Transmission Limitations on Renewable Energy Integration”


Course Design
90-711 Statistical Reasoning with R (2020 Summer)
Teaching Assistant and Recitation Instructor
95-710 Economics Analysis (2019-2023)
94-834 Applied Econometrics I (2019-2023)
94-835 Applied Econometrics II (2020-2023)