Global Poverty Research Lab


Dean Karlan, co-director, is a professor of economics and finance (Kellogg) and the president and founder of Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to discovering and promoting solutions to global poverty problems, and working to scale-up successful ideas through implementation and dissemination to policymakers, practitioners, investors and donors. His research focuses on microeconomic issues of poverty, typically employing experimental methodologies and behavioral economics insights to examine what works, what does not, and why in interventions in sustainable income generation for those in poverty, household and entrepreneurial finance, health behavior, and charitable giving. He works on issues for low-income households in both developing countries and the United States.

Chris Udry, co-director, is a development economist whose research focuses on rural economic activity in Sub-Saharan Africa. His current research examines technological change, risk and financial markets, gender and households, property rights, psychological well-being and economic decision-making and a variety of other aspects of rural economic organization. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a board member of Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development, and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Seema Jayachandran is an associate professor of economics. Her research is primarily on health and gender in developing countries. She also has projects related to the environment, education, labor markets, and political economy. She holds a PhD in economics from Harvard University.

Lori Beaman is an associate professor of economics. A development economist working on microeconomic issues, Lori’s research interests are centered on: social networks, agriculture, labor markets and gender. She holds a PhD in economics from Yale University. 

Cynthia Kinnan is an assistant professor of economics. Her research focuses on how households in developing countries use financial products and informal insurance networks to finance investments, save, and cope with risk. She is particularly interested in the causes of missing markets, the interaction between risk and household investment, social networks, and microfinance. She holds a PhD in economics from MIT.

Sara Hernández is an assistant professor of instruction in economics. Her research lies at the intersection of development and labor economics, with a marked gender component. She is particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms that propel females into the labor force and what the consequences are of doing so for individuals, households, and, by extension, their communities. Her work has focused on the interaction between international trade and living standards, including violence, education, and fertility. She holds a PhD in economics from MIT.