Speaker: Gautam Rao, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Harvard University
Moderator: Frances Hagopian, Jorge Paulo Lemann Senior Lecturer on Government, Harvard University
What sorts of research findings do policymakers demand? What is the impact of providing them with such information? We answer these questions using experiments with mayors in Brazil.
Gautam Rao is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics at Harvard University, a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), and a faculty affiliate at the The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL). Prior to joining the faculty at Harvard, he was a post-doctoral researcher at Microsoft Research's New England Lab in Cambridge, MA from July 2014-June 2015. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a PhD in Economics in 2014. His research seeks to bring insights from psychology to bear on topics in economics, particularly topics relevant to developing countries. Recent projects include studying how a demand for social status affects consumption decision in Indonesia, how mixing rich and poor students in schools in India affects social preferences and behaviors, how citizens in the United States are motivated to vote by social image concerns, and how innovative financial contracts can help patients with hypertension overcome their self-control problems in rural India.