2022 Economics PhDs in Development and Trade
Nate Barker studied development, labor, and public economics, with a focus on how individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa respond to urbanization and non-farm opportunities, and on the design of social protection programs in developing countries. Nate is joining University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy as a Postdoctoral Fellow.
One of the core strengths of Yale as a place to study development is the breadth of methodology and topic being studied by scholars here. This diversity helped me better understand a variety of approaches one can use to study questions fundamental to development, such as migration, occupational choice, human capital accumulation. – Nate Barker
Nate's research provides rigorous evidence that cultural practices matter for economic development, brilliantly showing using panel data from Ghana how tribal differences only in whether women could inherit significantly affected schooling investment, agricultural productivity, occupational sorting by men and women, and household incomes – Mark Rosenzweig, Frank Altschul Professor of International Economics
Nate’s dissertation is a very creative and clever demonstration of how traditional institutions can mediate a country’s development path as the country modernizes and new economic forces come into play – structural transformation, sectoral reallocation, rural-urban migration. Nate shows that patrilineal, male-only inheritance customs not only foster gender inequality, but also lowers overall productivity and household consumption, because it forces labor to be allocated inefficiently. The dissertation is a very nice marriage of economics with history and culture. – Mushfiq Mobarak, Professor of Management and of Economics
John Finlay conducted research at the intersection of trade and development, using micro data to understand how misallocation, due to credit constraints, affects Indian exporting firms. John is joining Columbia Business School for a one year postdoc, and then taking a position as Assistant Professor at Imperial College London.
I greatly enjoyed my time at Yale and definitely think I grew intellectually. One aspect I appreciated most was the willingness of faculty outside my specialty to talk about my work; although I was never formally a development student, I certainly benefited from the insights of professors in the development group. – John Finlay
John shows why it is so important to identify the source of misallocation. Simply subsidizing exporters creates misallocation among exporting firms, yet policies that go to the root cause to relieve the credit constraints can be quite beneficial. – Samuel Kortum, James Burrows Moffatt Professor of Economics
Jonathan Hawkins-Pierot studied the effects of large-scale regulatory policy, using methods from empirical industrial organization to estimate the equilibrium impacts of such policies and evaluate the likely impacts of counterfactual policies. Jonathan is taking a position as Economist at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
EGC is an amazing place to grow as an economist. There's always something to learn surrounded by so many students and faculty doing fascinating and important work around the world. As I continue my career, I hope to find an equally vibrant community. – Jonathan Hawkins-Pierot
Jonathan Hawkins-Pierrot has produced a fine thesis about how policy rules drove banks to expand in India. Prior work by Rohini Pande, among others, had shown large benefits of bank expansion for poverty reduction. Hawkins-Pierrot’s research shows how the government achieved these expansions – by requiring private banks to serve poor rural markets in order to expand in richer urban ones. Hawkins-Pierrot shows that this policy greatly expanded the branch network but also had a cost. For every branch they were required to open in rural areas, banks chose not to open an additional branch that they otherwise would have opened in a smaller city or town. As is often the case in economics, there is no "free lunch” of better financial access for the poor. The government can either subsidize access itself, or mandate private firms to do so, but either way there is a cost to such mandates. – Nicholas Ryan, Assistant Professor of Economics