2024 Economics PhDs in Development and Trade


Yale Economics PhD students hiking in the Adirondack Mountains, 2023. Photo courtesy Alvaro Cox Lescano.

Alvaro Cox Lescano has worked at the intersection of development economics, macroeconomics, and the economics of education. After a one-year postdoc at the University of Oslo, he will join the University Carlos III of Madrid as an Assistant Professor.

I am incredibly grateful for my time at Yale. Throughout my Ph.D. program, I received rigorous training from amazing and caring professors. The research environment, including seminars and conferences, many of which were sponsored by EGC, boosted my learning and passion for economic development and growth. I also had the opportunity to meet smart and motivated peers who shaped my understanding of economics through friendly and engaging discussions. My professors, the research environment, and friends were crucial in writing my dissertation and making my time at Yale and EGC an unforgettable experience. – Alvaro Cox Lescano

Alvaro's research focuses on the causal effect of education on economic growth and the structural transformation in the economy. Alvaro addresses the identification challenge by investigating the impact of an educational reform implemented in Brazil in 1996 that expanded significantly access to university education in the country. He highlights the diverse effects of this policy reform across various local Brazilian labor markets with distinct initial conditions. To assess the reform's causal effect on Brazilian economic development, Alvaro constructs and estimates a structural model focused on individuals' decisions regarding college education. His findings suggest that, without the reform, Brazil's GDP per capita growth between 2000 and 2010 would have been 18% lower than the actual observed growth. Additionally, the decline in agricultural employment would have been 7% slower. Alvaro's paper marks a substantial advancement in addressing a fundamental question within the growth and development literature. It stands as a major contribution deserving of significant attention. – Fabrizio Zilibotti, Tuntex Professor of International and Development Economics

Alvaro’s paper is a terrific example of the kind of research that I would characterize as the “Yale brand.” It starts from an important, policy-relevant question: how does the expansion of human capital through improvements in college access affect the process of economic development and structural change? It then draws on a wide range of data sources and methodological techniques to answer this question in the best way possible and Alvaro’s curiosity and intellectual openness is palpable on every single page. It is a paper that many people will enjoy reading and I am proud of having been a part of it. – Michael Peters, Associate Professor of Economics

Mirco Dinelli has focused on environmental economics and macroeconomics, and especially fiscal policy. He will join St. John Fisher University in Rochester, NY as an Assistant Professor. 

I am very grateful to Yale for giving me the chance to grow as a scholar and as a teacher. I appreciate my classmates, who are as supportive as they are talented, my brilliant and dedicated advisors and thesis readers, and everyone else who taught me and helped me improve my work. – Mirco Dinelli

I still remember when Mirco told us about his idea at the beginning of the third year. Fabrizio and I immediately said: “This is it. This should be your job market paper.” Research ideas rarely get formed so quickly and it is a sign that Mirco chose a topic he deeply cares about. And the final product is astonishing: Mirco tackled an extremely hard problem and made it work with ample grit and hours of guess-and-verify. I am still amazed that it worked. – Michael Peters, Associate Professor of Economics

Mirco’s research investigates the politico-economic determinants of environmental protection policy. The core challenge lies in the fact that safeguarding the environment requires costly policy interventions today, primarily burdening the current adult and elderly generations. However, the primary beneficiaries of such policies are the younger and future generations. Some scholars have suggested government debt, in the form of climate bonds, as a potential solution: governments could issue debt to fund environmental initiatives and then repay it through increased taxes on future generations. Mirco's research indicates that this straightforward approach might fail if its implementation is constrained by natural political factors inherent in a democratic process. While relaxing restrictions on government debt could free up more resources for expenditure, these resources remain fungible, and successive elected governments, swayed by voter demands, might opt to allocate the additional funds to areas unrelated to environmental protection. Mirco identifies ‘constitutional constraints’ on spending that could ensure the success of climate bonds in achieving their intended objectives. This research addresses pressing contemporary issues and offers insights with direct policy implications. – Fabrizio Zilibotti, Tuntex Professor of International and Development Economics

Rodrigo Guerrero has focused on household behavior, education, and gender inequality. After graduation, he will join Analysis Group as an Associate in their Chicago office. Guerrero received the Sylff Fellowship in 2020-21 and 2021-22.

I've had a fantastic experience at Yale and I will dearly miss the people I shared this journey with. I am extremely grateful to EGC faculty and staff for their unconditional support and mentorship. For their generous support, I thank the Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (Sylff) and the Carlos F. Diaz-Alejandro fund. Finally, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Yale Library for acquiring the data that made my dissertation possible. – Rodrigo Guerrero

Working with Rodrigo was a delight. This was really his project from the beginning. We gave him inputs along the way, but he was the driving force. Rodrigo’s research on parental loss looks at an important topic, disentangles the mechanisms, and then tells us something about policy through the lens of a model. Until now we haven’t known the effect of parental loss on education. Rodrigo’s work begins by establishing that losing a parent actually does have negative consequences for educational attainment. That in itself is a contribution. But then he moves on to think quite seriously about the mechanisms underlying the effect of parental death on a child’s education. What he finds is that when the man dies, the son gets pulled out of school in order to compensate for the loss of income; the mother, who would otherwise not be working, also enters the work force; and as a result of that, the daughter gets pulled out of school to take the mother’s place in the home. When the mother dies, of course the daughter gets pulled out of school. But the son gets pulled out of school as well. And that suggests that perhaps it’s not just a story about resources, but also preferences: when the mother dies, it’s the father’s preferences that matter, and as Rodrigo shows, men have lower value for children’s education than women do. The final step in the analysis is to estimate a model of intrahousehold bargaining, time use, and education. Rodrigo uses that model to understand the effect of different policies, and this really completes the picture. At the end of the day, we want to know what policies are going to work and what’s not going to work. To do that, you really need to think more fundamentally about how these decisions are made. Rodrigo’s research does that in a very complete way. – Kaivan Munshi, Professor of Economics

Rodrigo Juan Guerrero Castañeda has written an outstanding thesis examining both by how much and how the death of a parent in a low-income country affects children’s schooling and time use. Beyond just comparing the effects of the deaths of a mother and a father on the schooling of boys and girls separately, he goes after the mechanisms. One of the challenges of studying parental deaths is that they are rare. Rodrigo exploits a relatively new and very large data set from India that not only has a large number of nationally-representative households, and thus a large number of widows and widowers, but is also a panel with elicitations occurring three times each year. There are two key advances of this research. The first is that it provides credible estimates for the first time of the effects of parental mortality, by gender, on the time use of children, by gender. The second accomplishment, which is even more ambitious, is the identification of the separate mechanisms by which parental death affects children’s time use separately by the genders of the parents and children. He employs a model of the collective household from which he obtains estimates of structural parameters. The model incorporates differing parental preferences by gender for children's schooling; parental bargaining power; the division of labor by mothers, daughters, and sons; the production of human capital; and household production. The estimates of the parameters of the model indicate that mothers favor the schooling of daughters relative to fathers and that the loss of household production plays a key role in what happens to sons and daughters when their mother dies. He thus shows for the first time that a mother's death is just as consequential for children's welfare as the death of a father even in a context in which the father is the only parent earning income. – Mark Rosenzweig, Frank Altschul Professor of Economics and Professor of Management

Nghiem Huynh has focused on development economics and international trade. He will join the Department of Economics at the University of Oklahoma as an Assistant Professor. Huynh received the Sylff Fellowship in 2022-23.

I am immensely grateful for the generous guidance and support from the faculty at Yale, particularly those at the Economic Growth Center (EGC). EGC provides tremendous resources, including research grants that have enabled me to gain access to crucial data and travel to conduct my research in developing country contexts. These grants, combined with the opportunities to connect with world-class faculty during their visits to the many conferences and sponsored events, have been invaluable in my learning and growth during my time at Yale. I am deeply thankful to the faculty and staff for their understanding and unwavering support. – Nghiem Huynh

Nghiem Huynh threw himself into his project on spatial inequality in Vietnam, collecting micro data, documenting policy changes, modeling the dynamic economy, and solving computational problems. His enthusiasm, skill, and hard work along all these dimensions made the advising process very rewarding. Nghiem’s dissertation began as a simple difference-in-differences analysis of a quirky tax reform in Vietnam. It grew into a general-equilibrium appraisal of policies to reduce spatial inequality. In the process, Nghiem modeled the dynamic features of Vietnam’s actual tax reform, which gave tax breaks for just a few years to firms entering disadvantaged locations. He found that even such temporary tax breaks, if combined with the removal of barriers to worker mobility, could reduce inequality in Vietnam. – Samuel Kortum, Director of the Cowles Foundation, James Burrows Moffatt Professor of Economics and Professor of Management

Ryungha Oh has focused on macroeconomics and international trade. She will join the University of Chicago Booth School of Business as an Assistant Professor. Oh received the Sylff Fellowship in 2020-21 and 2022-23.

I will always cherish the connections I made at Yale. From my advisors to my friends, everyone communicated with a truly open heart and generously shared their time with me. The many meetings, discussions, and conversations over the past six years have shaped who I am today, and I look forward to sharing what I've learned and experienced here with others in new places. – Ryungha Oh

On October 24, 2018, 2:05pm I wrote the following email to Ryungha: ‘I just wanted to reach out personally to congratulate you on your macro midterm – it was truly impressive and it was a joy to read. I sincerely hope you consider doing more work in macro as you clearly have the talent.’ Obviously, I was right. But it was not really difficult to be right on that one because the clarity of her thinking was impossible to miss. Ryungha’s talent for macroeconomic research is on ample display in her deep body of work that comprises her dissertation. Her solo-authored work on two-sided spatial sorting is groundbreaking and represents an immense contribution to the existing literature. The idea that ‘good’ firms want to be close to ‘good’ workers seems so intuitive that one wonders why no one has formalized it. As it happens, doing so is quite difficult and it took someone like Ryungha to make progress. I am sure that plenty of people will build on her work in the years to come. I consider myself extremely grateful for having had the chance to meet her, to work with her, and to learn from her. She will be missed at Yale!

PS: Her response to my October 24 email came two hours later and she wrote ‘It is a real surprise as I wasn't that happy with my midterm.’ I have yet to figure out how she could not be happy with a midterm that, literally, scored 100/100 :) – Michael Peters, Associate Professor of Economics

Ryungha’s thesis breaks new ground in the analysis of spatial inequality in income and, especially, the efficiency properties of these spatial disparities. She analyzes these issues from a novel and highly realistic angle, taking into account that both workers and firms sort across locations. The key to understand the effects of spatial policies in her model is that productivity is embodied in workers and firms, not in locations themselves. Thus, if both productive workers and productive firms leave the big cities that suffer from congestion, profitable worker-firm matches can be preserved while saving congestion costs---a profoundly different implication compared with benchmark models of either worker or firm sorting across heterogeneous locations. I expect Ryungha’s work to become a standard reference in the literature on spatial inequality. – Ilse Lindenlaub, Associate Professor of Economics

Bernardo Ribeiro has focused on technological change, institutions, economic growth, and development. After spending the 2024–25 academic year as a Postdoctoral Associate at Princeton University, affiliated with the Louis A. Simpson Center for the Study of Macroeconomics and the Department of Economics, he will join the Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) in Rome as an Assistant Professor in 2025.

My time at Yale was transformative. I was exposed to an environment where the flow of ideas, knowledge, and insights is breathtaking. It was fascinating how, virtually every day for six academic years, there was so much to learn and new skills to develop. It felt like I was being transformed for the better every day, constantly taken out of my comfort zone and pushed to learn, create and communicate new ideas. I am very grateful to all the faculty, staff, and students who made this possible. – Bernardo Ribeiro

Bernardo’s job market paper is a paper that everyone who has ever worked in the literature on growth would have loved to have written. The insight is (once you see it!) simple and the execution is beautiful. Most of all, I am very grateful for Bernardo’s persistence: there were days when I had doubts that the theory would work. But Bernardo pushed through, proved me wrong, and found a mathematical characterization, that is so tractable that everything seems easy. Thanks for allowing me to be part of the ride! – Michael Peters, Associate Professor of Economics

In his research, Bernardo presents a groundbreaking theory that offers valuable insights for policy. His model depicts an economy characterized by continuous technological advancements, with research endeavors dispersed among an expanding range of technologies. Through a thorough examination of two centuries of patent data, Bernardo identifies empirical patterns of innovation that align with the predictions of his theory. The theory underscores a novel form of misallocation of research efforts stemming from profit-maximizing firms' tendency to overly invest in refining mature technologies. This inefficiency hampers the development of emerging technologies near the technological frontier and slows down average productivity growth. Policy interventions, such as subsidies to research programs targeting new technologies (a strategy commonly employed by research agencies like the National Science Foundation), can yield significant effects on welfare and growth. Bernardo's findings also carry implications for developing nations, where firms must weigh the allocation of efforts between enhancing existing local technologies or adopting new ones from the global frontier. – Fabrizio Zilibotti, Tuntex Professor of International and Development Economics

Siu Yuat Wong focuses on migration which is both temporary and permanent, and its intersection with child development and climate change. He will begin a postdoctoral research position at Stanford University. Wong received the Sylff Fellowship in 2018-19.

I am deeply appreciative of the opportunities afforded to me by the Economic Growth Center and the Department of Economics. The research and data collection I conducted were only made possible through their generous financial support and the invaluable academic guidance of faculty members. The collaborative atmosphere and encouragement from faculty, friends, colleagues, and peers enabled my research to surpass my initial expectations. – Siu Yuat Wong

Siu Yuat Wong has written an impressive thesis where he combines administrative data from the education and labor ministries of the Philippines with his own survey data to quantify the effects of international migration on childrens’ academic performance. The study significantly extends previous knowledge of migration effects on children by examining its heterogeneous effects, specifically on how the migration of parents differentially affects children by when in the children's life a parent leaves the household, by whether it is the mother or father who leaves, and by the educational attainment of the parent. The empirical specifications are informed by a dynamic model emphasizing the age-dependence of parental absence on children's development and the dual role of migration in affecting both parental interactions with children and the level of educational resources. The model is quantified, which enables interesting counter-factual policies aimed at minimizing the negative consequences for children of parental migration. However, one of the additional innovative features of the work is that it shows parents are aware of the consequences of their migration on their children's human capital, with their migration decisions shaped by their children's ages and inherent abilities. – Mark Rosenzweig, Frank Altschul Professor of Economics and Professor of Management

Siu Yuat produced an impressive dissertation paper that provides a credible answer to a very important question: what is the net effect of parent or migration choices on children left behind? Filipino men and women emigrate in pursuit of better livelihood opportunities, but this often comes at the cost of family separation because a very common migration modality is a parent traveling alone leaving their children behind. That makes the net effect of that migration on the children left behind ambiguous, because while the children presumably benefit from their parents’ enhanced earnings opportunities, they may also suffer from the parental absence. He shows that the net effect depends on whether the father or the mother migrates, and at what age (of the child) the parent leaves. The answer also depends on other background conditions, such as the parents’ education levels, and whether a grandparent is present in the house.

The paper is especially impressive given the astounding amount of primary data he had to collect as a graduate student. He partnered with the government migration agency to construct a sampling frame of would-be migrants and reach them. He then conducted detailed primary surveys of 1100 migrant families selected randomly from this sampling frame. Next, he had to identify those families’ children’s information in government databases and merge his survey data with administrative records and child test scores from the Philippines Department of Education, as well as administrative data from other government agencies. He had to do the bulk of his data collection work in the middle of the pandemic. – Mushfiq Mobarak, Jerome Kasoff ’54 Professor of Management and Economics

Graduates walking by the Economics Department
Yale Economics PhDs walking down Hillhouse Avenue on their way to commencement: (L-R) Daniel Giraldo Paez, Nghiem Hyunh, Wei Xiang, Bernardo Ribeiro, and Fernando Cordeiro.

Wei Xiang has worked at the intersection of international trade, economic growth, and environmental economics. He will join the University of Michigan as an Assistant Professor in 2025, following a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Fall 2024. Xiang received the Sylff Fellowship in 2021-22.

My years at Yale have been both enjoyable and productive. The guidance from my EGC advisors and the support of my EGC colleagues have been pivotal in shaping my academic journey. – Wei Xiang

Wei's dissertation investigates the implications of national environmental policies in a global context where multinational corporations can relocate their production activities across borders. A unique aspect of his study, relative to existing international trade literature, is the consideration of the endogenous dynamic response of innovation to policy incentives. He demonstrates that stricter domestic environmental policies result in a noticeable uptick in the generation of clean patents by local firms. However, in the short term, multinational corporations also react by moving production facilities to regions with lax environmental regulations. This response initially appears to render local environmental regulations costly and little effective. Nonetheless, Wei shows with the aid of an estimated structural model that the efficacy of regulation improves substantially over time as it stimulates research and development in clean technologies, ultimately reversing the initial carbon leakage. This is a very important research program that will have a long-lasting impact on different fields of economics. – Fabrizio Zilibotti, Tuntex Professor of International and Development Economics

Qianyao Ye has focused on understanding the determinants of the human capital development process. She will join Xiamen University as an Assistant Professor.

My time at Yale has been transformative. I received solid training in economics, learned how to answer important questions, and was exposed to cutting-edge research. It is the place where I have grown as a researcher, and I am extremely grateful to have been surrounded by remarkable and supportive faculty and colleagues. – Qianyao Ye

Qianyao has studied the process of child development in poor neighborhoods. Her thesis presents some truly novel and original research as she considers the impact of ‘social capital’ in the process of child development at different ages. While the role of such inputs has been studied in other disciplines, it has never been quantified or studied in economics. In her research, Qianyao uses a variety of data sources and a latent factor model to construct a quantitative measure of social capital as experienced by individuals in different neighborhoods in Chicago. She then uses the variation induced by urban demolitions to estimate the role of social capital in child development, revealing its importance across multiple dimensions of development. This is an original and innovative piece of research with deep policy relevance. – Orazio Attanasio, Cowles Professor of Economics

International and Development Economics (IDE) Masters Students

This year’s graduates of the International and Development Economics Master’s program will go on to a variety of positions in academia, finance, and policy. We highlight just a few:

Ezeriki Emetonjor will begin a Research Assistantship at the Wharton Business School in the Real Estate Center.

The IDE program has been incredibly rewarding. The diverse instruction I received across core and elective classes has equipped me with a broad skill set, opening up numerous opportunities, especially in policy and academia. However, it's the camaraderie and support from my fellow classmates that have truly shaped my learning journey. Their generosity in sharing their knowledge and cultural perspectives has been invaluable, making this experience far more enriching than I could have imagined. – Ezeriki Emetonjor

Dili Maduabum will join the University of Michigan as a PhD student in Economics.

I enjoyed my time at Yale, especially working with my cohort members. I have met some of my lifelong friends here, which I didn’t think was possible in such a short time. – Dili Maduabum

Emma Shen will join Deloitte NYC as a Tax Consultant in the Transfer Pricing Group.

I am truly grateful for the flexibility and support of the IDE program. I could select classes across various fields to explore my interests, and I felt so relaxed and motivated by interactions with mentors and fellow students. I'm going to miss my days at IDE so much! – Emma Shen

Sunteng Yu will join China Merchants Bank in its Shenzhen headquarters as a management trainee for the investment banking and financial markets departments.

With the spectacular teaching and guidance of Prof. Mike Boozer, Prof. Ana Cecilia Fieler, and Prof. Bill English, the IDE program gave me precious opportunities to navigate through the complicated corridor between theoretical understanding and real-world policy endeavors. – Sunteng Yu

Shuzhe (Rosemary) Zhang will work as a predoc in Wharton’s Business Economics and Public Policy Department for Professors Shing-Yi Wang and Susanna Berkouwer.

The IDE program provided me with a pressure-free platform for exploring my research interests. The coursework deepened my understanding of economic concepts applied to global development challenges. My research assistantship with Inclusion Economics not only enhanced my analysis and programming skills but also demonstrated how economic research can drive social change and underscored the importance of empathy in research. – Shuzhe (Rosemary) Zhang

Yirui Zhao will begin a PhD in Economics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

I found many friends who are passionate about economic research from the IDE program. I also benefited from the generous guidance of outstanding faculty here a lot. Their support has made my journey in economics a shared and fulfilling adventure. – Yirui Zhao

Three postgraduate associates standing before 27 Hillhouse
EGC Postgraduate associates (L-R): Viyaleta Farysheuskaya, Hema Balarama, and Gariyasi Garg. Photo by Vestal McIntyre.

EGC Postgraduate Associates

Hema Balarama began serving as a postgraduate associate at EGC in July 2022, focusing on gender portfolio projects in Raipur, India, and Nairobi, Kenya. Following her two years at EGC, Hema will begin a PhD in Economics at the London School of Economics.

My time as a postgraduate associate at EGC and Inclusion Economics was transformative. I was immersed in a vibrant research environment and was able to explore frontier topics in the field. Additionally, I forged lasting friendships and connections that broadened my perspective and provided invaluable support and mentorship, making my time at Yale incredibly fulfilling. – Hema Balarama

Hema impressed us with her strong analytical skills and willingness to take on new tasks. She is a creative scholar driven by a passion for economic justice and I am excited to follow her work at LSE. – Rohini Pande, Henry J. Heinz II Professor of Economics and Director of the Economic Growth Center

Viyaleta Farysheuskaya began her predoctoral fellowship in September 2022 and has worked with Professors Lauren Falcao Bergquist and Amit Khandelwal. She is currently seeking a position in which she can apply her research skills to shape policies in the development area.

This predoctoral fellowship has provided a remarkable opportunity to immerse myself in cutting-edge economic research, fostering both professional and personal growth. Under the mentorship of Professors Lauren Bergquist and Amit Khandelwal, alongside their esteemed colleagues, I've gained invaluable hands-on experience with various stages of economic research, learning to challenge conventional wisdom and embrace new frontiers. The patient support and companionship of my fellow predoctoral fellows has nurtured my growth and served as ongoing sources of inspiration. Lastly, the vibrant EGC and Tobin community, with its enriching seminars, events, and casual conversations, has further enhanced my experience, serving as a cornerstone for my development. – Viyaleta Farysheuskaya

Viyaleta has been a major asset to our team, bringing intellect, hard-work, and a positive attitude to work spanning the globe – from coffee markets in Uganda to industrial trade fairs in Chile. We look forward to seeing all that she will do in her career! – Lauren Falcao Bergquist, Assistant Professor of Economics & Global Affairs

Gariyasi Garg leaves Yale this summer, and will spend the summer assisting with research in Bihar, India for the Inclusion Economics initiative.

During my time as a predoc at EGC, I cultivated a strong sense of independence and honed my skills of learning-by-doing whether while cleaning and analyzing data in a coding language I had never used before, or learning about and using state-of-the-art machine learning tools to aid analysis. The encouraging work culture at EGC helped me realize that I don’t need to wait to be formally taught all the fascinating and powerful tools and frameworks being used by economists today. Additionally, observing first-hand how accomplished academics at different institutions think about pressing political and economic problems was eye-opening. The highlight of my tenure at EGC, though, was the time spent in the field speaking to research subjects, key stakeholders, and the field team – witnessing the scale and complexity of development challenges, the research process, and the journey toward policy solutions was insightful and motivating. – Gariyasi Garg

It has been a pleasure working with Gariyasi. I have been consistently impressed with her ability to quickly grasp economic concepts, project details, and technical skills, and by how she puts her abilities to good use across multiple studies. Gariyasi provides thoughtful input, is a structured thinker, and – crucially – is a collaborative colleague who seeks to apply her skills to address real-world problems. I am excited to see what she makes of this rare combination of talent and commitment! – Charity Troyer Moore, Scientific Director, Inclusion Economics at Yale University

EGC Interns and Undergraduates Focusing on Development

Eda Aker graduates with a degree in Global Affairs. She started working as a Development Economics Communications Intern with EGC in June 2022 and continued during the 2023-24 academic year, contributing to various tasks, ranging from editorial work on Inclusion Economics projects to helping launch a podcast discussing development economics to writing a profile on a MacArthur award winner. She plans to go to work at JPMorgan for a while, before eventually pursuing grad school. 

I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work with EGC! From day one, the welcoming and supportive nature of the community has stood out in my experience. I have felt included in every conversation and was able to work on a wide range of projects — from podcasts to profiles! – Eda Aker

Eda came to us as an experienced journalist at Yale Daily News, and it showed in her writing: she was able to present an interesting story that engaged the reader before leading them into complex ideas in development economics. A year later, she became too busy with other projects – including running the Yale human rights journal – to work for us. But I insisted on keeping her on to mentor our more junior interns by meeting them and giving them line edits during in-person working meetings. Although she is not following my strong recommendation to become a journalist, she has great things planned, and I wish her the very best. – Vestal McIntyre, EGC Communications Director

Atl Castro Asmussen  graduates with a B.A. in Political Science. Starting in Spring, 2022, Atl provided administrative support to EGC Communications by writing articles, building EGC’s website, and helping present the center’s research in an accessible and visually appealing way. He is passionate about journalism and legal research, leveraging writing as a tool to enhance the reliability and transparency of political news.

My time with EGC has been transformative, not just because of the skills I’ve acquired in communicating policy but also in the friendships I’ve forged. EGC maintains a unique sense of community that makes going into the office a highlight of my week.” – Atl Castro Asmussen

Atl holds the distinction of being the longest-serving EGC intern ever. We’ve never let him go because he’s simply too good: from writing excellent research articles (like his overview of a recent Trade, Markets and Development conference), to assisting us with our Annual Report, to being the “roaming mic” at many of our public events – Atl is completely ingrained in EGC operations and community. I would say I will miss having him in the office every week and bonding over our love of Stevie Nicks (among other more highbrow subjects), but I know we’ll continue to be in touch. Thank you, Atl, for your years of service to EGC and Inclusion Economics!” – Vestal McIntyre, EGC Communications Director

Daevan and Bilal
Bilal Moin (R) with SPF co-founder Daevan Mangalmurti in a photo taken by Andrew Hurley for a YaleNews article on the club's first year.

Bilal Moin graduates with degrees in Economics & Mathematics and in Global Affairs, having written a senior thesis on the impacts of federal state reorganization on developmental outcomes in India. As an Economics Research intern at EGC during the summer of 2021, Bilal assisted in the development, deployment, and analysis of large-scale surveys of migrant workers in India and contributed to a project aimed at enhancing safety nets in India through government monitoring and social audit mechanisms. Beginning in 2022, he also served as the founding President of the Salus Populi Foundation, Yale's EGC-supported, student-led organization focusing on international development. Bilal will continue his studies by pursuing an MPhil in Economics at Oxford and hopes to go on to a career in economic policymaking and international development.  

My tenure at EGC and IE was transformative. The experience was instrumental in shaping my perspective towards a human-centered, welfare-oriented, approach to economics, one that marries rigorous research with practical policy insights. The array of speakers, research opportunities, and mentorships, particularly from Aishwarya and Vestal, were truly invaluable, leaving an indelible mark on my academic and professional journey. – Bilal Moin

To say I have been overwhelmingly impressed with Bilal’s dedication to the field of international development would be an understatement. His passion and tireless work this past year to set up the ‘Salus Populi Foundation’ as a student organization focused on discussing and deconstructing the varied aspects of global welfare-maximizing policy possibilities has been remarkable to witness. This is no small feat, given the heavy course load and the long list of research and extracurricular pursuits Bilal has been engaged in at the same time. This is also no small feat given the variety of interests and opinions Bilal has been able to ably navigate to build a pilot year for the organization that showcased an exceptional range of perspectives and allowed members to gain a certain depth of investigation into critical topics in international development. Working with his collaborator Daevan, Bilal has built a strong foundation for the organization to flourish and serve students at Yale in the years to come.” – Aishwarya Lakshmi Ratan, EGC Deputy Director

From the moment Bilal started working for us – remotely during the pandemic – I could see how responsible and ambitious he was. Not only did he do stellar work for us as a communications intern, but he then went on to co-found the Salus Populi Foundation, an undergraduate club focused on international development, which has become a great presence on campus and a channel for first- and second-years to learn about development economics from their peers and economists themselves. I am so excited for Bilal’s future doing great things at Oxford, and beyond. – Vestal McIntyre, EGC Communications Director

Harleen Kaur graduates with a degree in Economics and will work as a research assistant at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. During the summer of 2021, she assisted with a study investigating the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic on women in rural India. 

Working at Inclusion Economics provided a great opportunity to learn from leading faculty and researchers. It was incredibly rewarding to be a part of research that contributed to efforts to alleviate adverse impacts of the pandemic, especially for the most vulnerable populations. The experience was valuable in strengthening my passion for research and healthcare. – Harleen Kaur

Renee Sanacora graduated in December with a degree in Global Affairs. From April to October 2022, she worked as a communications intern, helping format and update the EGC website and writing articles about incoming economics faculty. She is currently traveling and applying for master’s programs in Global Affairs.

It was a pleasure and an amazing learning experience to intern with the EGC communications team. Having the opportunity to become familiar with incoming professors’ work and interview them 1:1 for Spotlight articles fueled my passion for development economics and built my confidence as a Global Affairs student. – Renee Sanacora

Renée is a talented writer, a hard worker, and such a pleasure to be around. Her profiles of Professors Bergquist and Khandelwal show an ability to pick up complex topics quickly – and are not to be missed. I know she has some exciting work lined up next, and I wish her the best! – Vestal McIntyre, EGC Communications Director 

Chris Yao graduates with a degree in Mathematics. He worked as a Herb Scarf Research Assistant during summer 2021 and continued at EGC during the 2021-2022 academic year, contributing to a project examining the impact of gender on audit results in India’s MGNREGA Social Audit program. In the Fall, Chris will begin a PhD in Mathematics at UC Berkeley.

I really enjoyed working for EGC! The work was interesting and rewarding, and the skills and experience I gained at EGC have been invaluable in my research career. – Chris Yao

The quality of Chris Yao’s work remains well-known at EGC and Inclusion Economics! Chris supported coding and development tasks when we tracked local Covid cases to restart our in-person work in India, and he provided valuable inputs when investigating a large-scale community auditing program. We wish him all the best as he moves on from Yale. – Charity Troyer Moore, Scientific Director, Inclusion Economics at Yale University