Research

My research interests are in development economics and policy. In my dissertation, I use both a field experiment and causal inference methods on public use data to study questions related to gender and household decision-making in South Asia. My main project studies the role of gender-related workplace attributes on women's labor supply decisions in Pakistan, and how perception of family job search advice impacts young women's labor supply decisions. In addition, I study information updating about occupations through the job search process in this context, and the role of beliefs about occupations on women's occupational choice. To inform and conduct my research, I have field experience in India and Pakistan.


Works in Progress:

    • Workplace Attributes and Women’s Labor Supply Decisions: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Pakistan
Supported by National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant
Advances in women's education levels have achieved success: Two thirds of countries have reached gender parity in primary education and in over one third of countries, girls outnumber boys in secondary education. This success, however, raises questions regarding if and how female educational attainment translates into economic participation. Female labor force participation (FLFP) remains well below that of males in many parts of the world. Thus, there must exist barriers outside of education that keep women out of the workforce. This paper examines one potential mechanism - family pressure from social norms prescribing social segregation of men and women - that might affect female labor supply in Pakistan. In this paper, I examine the impact of gender-related workplace attributes on labor supply decisions among young women who are in their final year of education by conducting an information experiment and cross-randomized priming experiment on a job search platform in Lahore, Pakistan. The results of this experiment are matched with a series of vignettes that measure differences between a job seeker's own preferences and her perceptions of her family's preferences regarding her job search to shed light on household constraints on female labor supply decisions.
    • The Unintended Transfer of Household Power? Long-Run Impacts of Male - Skewed Sex Ratios in India
    • Promoting Female Labor Force Participation

– with Eliana Carranza (World Bank) and Beth Zikronah Rosen (World Bank)

Women comprise half of the world’s adults, and therefore potentially half of its labor force. Their participation in the labor force is essential to achieving sustainable economic growth and household welfare. Yet, in nearly every country, women’s labor force participation is significantly lower than men’s (International Labour Organization 2016). While the available literature generally focuses on female employment (women who are employed), this paper centers on female labor force participation (FLFP, women who are either employed or looking for employment). The distinction is key, in that women’s decision of whether to work is distinct from the equilibrium outcome of whether they successfully find employment. The former represents the potential supply of women’s labor able to meet firm labor demand for production, and thus contribute to GDP. This paper explores the specific constraints women face to entering and remaining in the labor force, and how they can be effectively addressed by policymakers.
    • What you get is what you (can) see: Publicly Observable Signals of Generosity and Effort of Healthcare Providers (Under Review)

– with Manoj Mohanan (Duke University)

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.


Conference Presentations and Invited Talks:

    • UNU WIDER Development Conference: Transforming economies - for better jobs (poster session) - 2019
    • Elon University Department of Economics Seminar - 2019
    • Empirical Study of Gender Workshop in Lahore - 2018
    • international Health Economics Association at ASSA/AEA - 2018