Shirin Arslan

D.C. Policy Center

Shirin Arslan is an economist who specializes in gender analysis in economics and workers’ economic security.

Shirin has worked with private sector firms, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and non-profits to produced quantitative and qualitative research analyses covering a wide range of topics. Her recent research has focused on work-family policies, labor market practices, economic regulations, anti-trust policies, human rights conditions, and technology startups. In addition to research, Shirin is involved in a local initiative that aims to bring high-quality STEM-focused learning programs to economically disadvantaged communities in the DMV region.

Shirin holds a master’s degree in economics from American University and B.A. in Economics from Virginia Commonwealth University. Learn more about her work at

D.C. Policy Center contributors are independent writers, and we gladly encourage the expression of a variety of perspectives. The views of our contributors, published here or elsewhere, do not reflect the views of the D.C. Policy Center.

Written By Shirin Arslan

Hate Crimes in D.C.

2018 was a record setting year for hate crimes in the District of Columbia, and the number reported continues to rise this year: 108 hate crimes were reported to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) during the first half of 2019, 30 percent more than the same period for last year.[1] About half…

November 6, 2019 | Shirin Arslan

D.C.’s Startup Scene, Part II: Opportunity Costs

Previously, in D.C.’s Startup Scene, I examined employment gains made by District startups[1] across industry sectors. I found that on average, startups in certain sectors—such as Accommodation and Food, Retail, and Wholesale Trade—were making relatively faster gains in employment compared to more established firms. However, startups within some of D.C.’s strongest industries—like…

August 29, 2018 | Shirin Arslan

D.C.’s Startup Scene

On the surface, the District’s startup scene appears to be more lively than ever before. The city has received numerous accolades from the Washington Post and WAMU to VentureBeat and Entrepreneur for fostering a vibrant startup ecosystem that is both supportive and diverse, making it a popular destination for determined entrepreneurs looking to set up shop. Pulling back, however,…

June 1, 2018 | Shirin Arslan

Sexual assaults in D.C.: What the data can (and can’t) tell us

In many ways, Washington, D.C. has become a much safer city in recent years. Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen a slow but steady reduction in violent crime, which further dropped by 22 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year. However, one type of violent crime – sexual abuse—has followed…

January 31, 2018 | Shirin Arslan