Born in Cupertino, California, Jimmy Lin is the son of Chinese immigrants who fled to the United States after the Cultural Revolution and stayed to provide their children with an American upbringing and education. Witnessing and hearing stories of his parents’ often-challenging interactions with American institutions—from employers to schools to government offices to churches—Jimmy wanted to find practical reforms that could make these institutions more accessible to all.
As an undergraduate student at Harvard University, Jimmy studied pure mathematics and computer science, using these theoretical and computational skills in his economics research. His undergraduate thesis studied the causes and impacts of the COVID labor supply shock (“the Great Resignation”), which earned the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize for Outstanding Senior Theses. His current research interests combine mathematical theory with data analysis to design better public institutions. His goal is for this research to influence policy reforms around government programs like SNAP, unemployment benefits, and housing assistance.
Beyond his research, Jimmy helped teach undergraduate courses in economics, mathematics, and computer science, earning the Derek Bok Center Distinction in Teaching. He also served as the editor-in-chief of the Harvard Economics Review, co-led Harvard’s Asian American Christian Fellowship, and led backpacking preorientation trips for incoming first-year students.
Jimmy plans on pursuing a PhD in economics to continue studying the interactions between institutions, inequality, and identity. He hopes to become an economics professor to influence decisions in policy and industry through interdisciplinary research, service, and communication.