Research

I am trained as an economist, but rely on theoretical and empirical tools from a number of disciplines. Methodologically, I rely on econometrics and statistics, but I like to throw in a little ethnography, sociology, psychology, demography, and even medicine because I think it’s fun, and I’m also a firm believer in crossing disciplinary boundaries. I think we can better answer questions if we look to see how other people have answered a question, even if they are not in our field.

My research broadly fits in the categories of labor economics and development economics; more specifically, I am interested in topics related to gender, labor force participation, violence, and family. I do my research as an applied microeconometrician. This means I tend to study individuals or families (micro) and their decision-making, not governments or countries (macro). It also means that I use fancy statistical packages (econometrics) to sift through a lot of data (applied, as opposed to theory). I love data.

I tend to seek out projects that address gender, families, children, violence, and relationships, but I also have some work that deals with health, food security, water, and behavior. I am particularly interested in how we perceive situations and how that affects our decision-making. This may mean asking questions like ‘do women who are happier in their relationships spend more time reading to their children?’ or ‘do people who know their water source has been protected change their in-house water treatment behavior?’ It might also be as simple as, ‘are women more sensitive to price than men when purchasing investment assets?’ or ‘why are women not as likely to be part of the labor force?’

In economics terms, you can put various papers of mine under headings such as Economic History, Labor Economics, Demography, Economics of Families, Development Economics, and Environmental Economics. I think the above does a bit better at explaining what I actually do. Below, you can find a list of my recent projects. If a paper is not linked and you’re interested in reading, please email for a copy.

Paying for Violence? Spousal Abuse and Son Preference in India. 2017. Journal of Development Studies. With Shatanjaya Dasgupta.

Violence Against Children in Nyarugusu Refugees Camp: Reporting and Perceptions Across Generations. 2017. Working paper. With Seth Gitter and Savannah Wilhelm.

Reporting Violence Against Chidlren: Social Norms in Nyarugusu Refugees Camp With Seth Gitter and Savannah Wilhelm. Forthcoming, Migration Letters, 2018.

Women and Work in India: Descriptive Evidence and a Review of Potential Policies. 2018. HKS Working Paper. With Charity Troyer Moore and Rohini Pande.

Prepregnancy Obesity and Birth Outcomes. 2015. Maternal and Child Health. With Susan Averett.

Match Quality and Maternal Investments in Children. 2013. Review of Economics of the Household.

Share Portfolios in the Age of Financial Capitalism. 2015. Economic History Review. With Ann Carlos and Larry Neal.

Reducing Societal Discrimination Against Women and Adolescent Girls: Using Social Norms to promote behavior change. 2014. With Laurie Ball Cooper.

Reducing Gender-Based Violence. With Laurie Ball Cooper and Elizabeth Levy Paluck. 2013. Sage Handbook of Gender and Psychology. Sage Publications.

Markets and Minorities: Women in the Early Age of Financial Capitalism. With Ann Carlos and Larry Neal. Questioning Credible Commitment. Cambridge Press, 2012.

Expectations of Support: Health Investments and Promises of Financial Assistance for Children. Working Paper.

Evaluating Conventional Notions of Domestic Violence. Working paper, November 2011.

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