B.A., University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign); M.A., Ph.D., Stanford University
Professor of Economics
The economics of education, applied econometrics, impact evaluation of education programs, and education policy in Latin America and Africa.
I am interested in using statistical methods and modern evaluation designs to help improve schooling in poor countries and communities, especially in Latin America. Governments spend millions on policies designed to improve student learning, ranging from class size reduction to private school vouchers, but the scientific evidence to inform these decisions is often scarce. I use quasi-experimental methods to identify the causal impact of education programs, including market-based reforms such as private school vouchers and newer generations of reforms that have explicitly sought to reduce educational disparities by ethnicity or social class. I have primarily worked in Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, and Colombia. My largest current project will evaluate a rural education program in Honduras, in collaboration with colleagues at UC-Berkeley, NYU, and the Universidad Pedagógica in Tegucigalpa. Funding was generously provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
At Wellesley, I enjoy teaching courses in introductory microeconomics, introductory statistics, Latin American development, and the economics of education. I regularly advise honors thesis work and have co-authored several journal articles with students, often on a topic of special interest to us: the economics of Wellesley College. A recent student thesis examined the impact of Wellesley's cross-registration agreement with Olin and MIT on the classroom outcomes of Wellesley students.
I served for several years as the associate editor of the Economics of Education Review. I also co-edited a comprehensive reference, Economics of Education, with my USC colleague Dominic Brewer.