Jowei Chen studies redistricting, political geography, distributive politics, and executive agencies. His research has examined the partisan and racial effects of redistricting maps and the effect of political geography on redistricting outcomes. He has studied how legislators' pork-barreling strategies are shaped by the electoral geography of their districts and how government spending influences voters. Finally, his research has analyzed the political control of executive agencies.
Chen has summarized his research through op-ed articles published in the Washington Post, Time Magazine, and the New York Times.
In 2019, Common Cause honored Chen as a “Defender of Democracy” for his work on partisan gerrymandering.