A Quantitative Measure of Hope: A working paper

Over the past year an a half I’ve been working as a Research Assistant with the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy – Burma. Housed at Michigan State University, the project is generously funded by USAID’s Bureau of Food Security. It has been a tremendous experience. I’ve traveled to Myanmer twice (see…

Measuring Hope: Lessons from Rural Myanmar [Post-Op Notes]

For those who don’t know, a great new blog about applied development economics was launched last academic year. Managed by some folks over in Cornell’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management the “Economics That Really Matters” blog references Theodore Schultz’s 1979 Nobel Lecture when he said the following: Most of the people in the…

International Migration and (you guessed it) Hope

After my last post, my grandpa left the following comment: My father experienced some of the kind of poverty you write about when he was growing up in the Netherlands. The “hope” factor for him was emigrating to the USA, for which I (and you) owe our very lives… Thanks grandpa! This brings up an important…

The Economics of Hope

Two years ago I was a senior in college and sitting in a professor’s office discussing several topics I could focus on for a senior thesis. At the time the economics of happiness was gaining a lot of momentum as a research topic. I asked my professor if I could think about the concept of…

The Impact of Christian Theology on Economic Outcomes

Religion, spiritual practices, and faith are easily observable factors in the daily lives of people almost anywhere in the world. This leads many to speculate and theorize about the role of religion in driving economic and social outcomes. Positive correlations abound between religiosity and a host of factors that may influence economic success. Correlation, however,…

DACA and Human Capital Investment Decisions

Economists love to repeat (over and over) that incentives matter. This leads to one way of examining differences in educational achievement by investigating differences in the return to education among different people. The logic goes as follows: If people like me don’t tend to land high-paying or satisfying jobs after completing some level of education,…