Faculty Profile

Jennifer Doleac

Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Economics

Photo ofJennifer  Doleac
Garrett 110

Jennifer Doleac is an applied microeconomist with a particular interest in law and economics. Much of her research focuses on how high-tech law enforcement tools that increase the probability of detection affect criminal behavior, and whether such tools are good investments. She has found that DNA databases lead to extremely cost-effective reductions in crime, a result with important public policy implications. 


In other work, she conducted a year-long field experiment to test the effect of a seller's race in online markets, showing that black sellers receive fewer purchase offers and are less trusted than white sellers. She is also studying topics related to urban violence, teens' risky behavior, and how property laws affect divorce outcomes.


Doleac holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University, and a B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from Williams College. She is an NBER/NSF Crime Research Fellow, and previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Congressional Budget Office.


Selected Recent Publications

The Visible Hand: Race and Online Market Outcomes

Doleac, Jennifer L., and Luke C. D. Stein. "The Visible Hand: Race and Online Market Outcomes." The Economic Journal. 123 (472): F469-F492 (November 2013). read more »

Related News & Events

The case for expanding the DNA database read more »

Safer Grounds: New Research About Women's Safety at U.Va. read more »

Batten faculty and alumni will present their research at the 2014 APPAM Fall Research Conference this November 6-8 in Albuquerque, NM. View greater details on the APPAM preliminary program page. read more »

When looking for an iPod, people were more distrustful and hesitant to buy from a black man or white man with tattoos than a white man without tattoos, researchers found, suggesting personal biases affect how we interact online. read more »

Skin color creates discriminating shoppers according to a University of Virginia study. read more »

Shoppers are more likely to buy a product advertised from an online classified advert if they think the seller is white, a new study suggests. read more »

“We believe our study isolates the effect of race on market outcomes more convincingly than previous studies and provides some insight into why buyers are discriminating,” Doleac said. read more »

Over the weekend, most areas of the U.S. observed Daylight Saving Time. The clocks were turned back one hour, and an hour of daylight was moved from the evening to the morning. New research indicates the time change has a big downside: an apparent increase in crimes. read more »

Congratulations to the following Batten faculty and alumni presenting at the annual APPAM Research Conference November 7-9, 2013: Jennifer Doleac: The Visible Hand: Race and Online Market Outcomes, Saturday, November 9, 2013 : 3:50 PM read more »

Op-ed cites Jennifer Doleac's "Visible Hand" research in which she found on-line ads that featured a dark-skinned hand received significantly fewer responses and offers, and were trusted less than ads with a light-skinned hand portrayed read more »