I am a development economist: I study economic and social problems in the world’s poorest countries. In my research, I design and test practical solutions to real-world problems, while also shedding light on the economic factors that drive persistent poverty more generally. I do this by combining randomized field experiments with cutting-edge statistical and econometric techniques and economic theory.

Research Statement


“Some Children Left Behind: Variation in the Eff ects of an Educational Intervention” (with Julie Buhl-Wiggers, Juan Sebastián Munoz, Rebecca Thornton, and Jeffrey A. Smith) [Final Working Paper] (In Press, Journal of Econometrics)

“Peers and Motivation at Work: Evidence from a Firm Experiment in Malawi” (with Lasse Brune and Eric Chyn) [Final Working Paper][Online Appendix] Journal of Human Resources, July 2022.

“How Important is Temptation Spending? Maybe Less than We Thought” (with Lasse Brune and Qingxiao Li*) [Final Working Paper] World Bank Economic Review, May 2022.

“Health Knowledge and Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa” (with Anne Fitzpatrick, Sabrin Beg, Laura Derksen, Anne Karing, Adrienne Lucas, Natalia Ordaz Reynoso*, and Munir Squires) [NBER Working Paper No. 28316] [Ungated PubMed Link] Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, October 2021.

“Pay Me Later: Savings Constraints and the Demand for Deferred Payments” (with Lasse Brune and Eric Chyn) [Final Working Paper] American Economic Review, July 2021.

“Making the Grade: The Sensitivity of Education Program Effectiveness to Input Choices and Outcome Measures” (with Rebecca Thornton) [Final Working Paper][Online Appendix] Review of Economics and Statistics, May 2021.

“You Know What I Know: Interviewer Knowledge Effects in Subjective Expectation Elicitation” (with Natalia Ordaz Reynoso*) [Final Working Paper][Online Appendix] Demography, February 2021.

“Income Timing and Liquidity Constraints: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment” (with Lasse Brune) [Final Working Paper] [Online Appendix] Journal of Development Economics, May 2019.

Working Papers

“Appointments: A More Effective Commitment Device for Health Behaviors” (with Laura Derksen, Natalia Ordaz Reynoso*, and Olivier Sterck) [PDF] (Under review)

“Scared Straight or Scared to Death? Fatalism in Response to Disease Risks” [PDF] (Under review)

“Epistemic Uncertainty in HIV Transmission Risk Beliefs,” with Divya Pandey*. August 2022.

“Teacher Flexibility and School Productivity: Evidence from a Remedial Education Program in India” (with Sabrin Beg, Anne Fitzpatrick, Adrienne M. Lucas, and Khandker Wahedur Rahman*)

“Learning More about Teachers: Estimating Teacher Value-Added and Treatment Effects on Teacher Value-Added in Northern Uganda” (with Julie Buhl-Wiggers, Jeffrey Smith, and Rebecca Thornton) [PDF]

“Program Scale-up and Sustainability” (with Julie Buhl-Wiggers, Jeff Smith, and Rebecca Thornton) [Slides]

Work in Progress

Long-run Impacts of the Northern Uganda Literacy Project (with Julie Buhl-Wiggers, Ricardo Montero de la Piedra*, Jeffrey Smith, and Rebecca L. Thornton)

Measuring Uncertainty in Subjective Risk Beliefs (with Divya Pandey*)

Estimating Labor Supply Elasticities and Discount Rates from Agricultural Output Data (with Lasse Brune, Eric Chyn, and Giang Thai*)

Recipient Control over the Timing of Cash Transfers (with Lasse Brune, Eric Chyn, and Miriam Laker-Oketta)

Improving Air Quality in Schools (with Marc Bellemare and Kent Horsager)

A Meta-Analysis of Heterogeneity in Education Program Impacts (with Julie Buhl-Wiggers, Hanna Han, Juan S. Muñoz, Jeffrey Smith, and Rebecca L. Thornton)

Digital Savings Groups in Egypt (with Alfredo Burlando, Reham Rizk, and Sarah Wahby*)

*student coauthor