My research uses causal inference methods in applied microeconomics to study labor markets and health in developing countries, with a particular focus on gender.

Working Papers:

    • Workplace Attributes and Women’s Labor Supply Decisions: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

World Bank Development Impact Blog Post

Supported by National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant in Economics
Women's educational attainment has increased substantially, but women's labor force participation, wages, etc, have not experienced a commensurate increase in many developing countries. In this paper, I conduct information and priming experiments with educated female jobseekers on a formal job search platform in urban Pakistan, where female labor force participation is particularly low. The results show that being primed to think about family job search advice decreases women's probability of applying to a job, that receiving information about gender of the supervisor nearly doubles the probability of applying to a job, and that active jobseekers are more likely to apply to a job with a female supervisor than a male supervisor. Jobseekers also accurately aggregate this information about specific job postings to update their beliefs about the distribution of the probability of having a male supervisor, by occupation. The results are consistent with women facing extensive and intensive margin costs to working outside the home stemming from family pressures, but also show that access to information about workplace attributes through a low-cost intervention allow women to sort into firms which reduce their intensive margin costs and increases women's job search overall.
    • What you get is what you (can) see: Publicly Observable Signals of Generosity and Effort of Healthcare Providers

(draft available upon request)

– with Manoj Mohanan

Healthcare in many parts of the developing world is characterized by low quality of care. This paper uses novel data from rural Bihar, India, to explore the relationship between healthcare providers' generosity and quality of care delivered. We analyze data on providers' clinical effort both when they are aware that they are being observed and also when they are unaware of being monitored (during audit visits by standardized patients), combined with data from a lab-in-field experiment that induced publicly observable signals of generosity. Providers who exhibit high levels of publicly observable generosity to a health-related NGO in the area also exert high levels of effort with patients when they know that they are being observed. However, when measured using standardized patient methodology, where providers are not aware of being observed, publicly observable generosity is not correlated with high levels of provider effort with patients.

Selected Research in Progress:

  • Rational Discouragement? Returns to Search for Marginal Labor Force Participants

with Erica Field, Rob Garlick, and Kate Vyborny