Peer-Reviewed Publications

The Costs of Secondary Migration: Perspectives from Refugee Voluntary Agencies in the U.S. (with Scott Loveridge); Journal of International Migration and Integration, Forthcoming 2018.

Abstract: In recent years, as the need for global refugee assistance has increased, so have fears and concerns of the costs of refugee resettlement in Western nations. Now, seemingly more than ever, international security and regional development depend largely on the composition and distribution of the world population. In many Western nations, dispersal policies are specifically designed to manage the distribution of recently arrived refugees. Secondary migration presents a challenge to the goals of dispersal policies and raises questions regarding regional development, population pressures, job security, welfare dependency, and the future of global refugee assistance. We survey administrators and caseworkers in a series of qualitative interviews about their experiences with secondary migration. We conclude that the US refugee resettlement system is ill-equipped in handling the complications of secondary migration. These results lead us to reimagine a better strategy for achieving the goals of refugee resettlement.

Measuring Hope: A Quantitative Approach with Validation in Rural Myanmar (with Duncan Boughton, Kyan Htoo, Aung Hein, and Ellen Payongayong); Journal of Development Studies, October 2017.

Abstract: Development economists are increasingly considering the role of hope in behaviours relating to investment, production, and consumption decisions of the poor. Although several studies have examined how the concepts of hope and aspirations may fit into economic theories, empirical studies have yet to validate a reliable measurement of hope. We adapt a quantitative approach to measure hope in the context of rural Myanmar. We present three tests of measurement validity. This study finds that hope measurements are correlated with covariates in a way supported by theory, are distinct from other psychological concepts, and are positively correlated with welfare perceptions.

Learning toward Transformation: Evaluating Material, Social, and Spiritual Impacts in Western Kenya; Faith & Economics, Spring 2017, Issue 69, pp. 25-61.

Abstract: Transformational development—integrating the three goals of positive material, social, and spiritual change—is a popular concept among organizations and individuals who work in faith-based development. Despite broad agreement about the theory of transformational development, very little research empirically investigates how to best achieve these goals. By using a difference-in-differences empirical strategy, this study provides an example of a simple yet rigorous evaluation approach for measuring real progress toward meeting the goals of material, social, and spiritual change. This study finds effects after one year that are only marginal in their significance but relatively large in their average impact. Thus, while economically meaningful impacts may be present, this study encounters difficulty with statistical identification due to a relatively small sample size. Nevertheless, this paper provides a useful example, with suggestions for improvement, for future research evaluating transformational development programs.

Policy Briefs and other Lightly Peer-Reviewed Publications

The Secondary Migration of Refugees Resettled in the US (with Scott Loveridge); Forced Migration Review, Issue 54; 2017.

Refugees in Rural Communities: A Win-Win?; National Agriculture & Rural Development Policy Center; 2014.

Book Reviews

Book Review Experimental Conversations: Perspectives on Randomized Trials in Development Economics (ed.) Timothy Ogden; (with Marc F. Bellemare) American Journal of Agricultural Economics, March 2018, Vol. 100, Issue 2, pp. 642–643

Book Review Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science by Dani RodrikFaith & EconomicsFall 2016, Issue No. 68, pp. 121-126.

Book Review Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard H. ThalerFaith & Economics, Fall 2015; Issue No. 66, pp.169-174.

Working Papers

How Much Does the Cardinal Treatment of Ordinal Variables Matter? An Empirical Investigation [Appendix]

Good Intentions Gone Bad? The Dodd-Frank Act and Conflict in Africa’s Great Lakes Region

Contract Farming: A Review (with Marc F. Bellemare)

Understanding the Aspirations Gap: Evidence from Rural Myanmar

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