Pre-Doc Research Experience

UC Berkeley’s Center for Effective Global Action

I worked as a research associate for Professor Edward (Ted) Miguel at Berkeley’s Center for Effective Global Action on the Syrian Refugee Life Study. In this project, we experimentally analyzed the impact of housing assistance on life outcomes of Syrian refugees in Jordan in partnership with the Norwegian Refugee Council. We also conducted a longitudinal panel survey among a representative sample of Syrian refugees in Jordan. This research is also led by Sandra Rozo (World Bank) and Emma Smith (Harvard).

The World Bank, Poverty and Equity Global Practice

I was a consultant for the Kenya Analytical Program on Forced Displacement, a project which is led by Edward Miguel (Berkeley), Nistha Sinha (World Bank), Utz Pape (World Bank), and Theresa Beltramo (UNHCR). In this research, we assess the livelihoods of refugees and hosts in Kenya on the levels of employment, education, mental health, and resilience to shocks. The team is working on collecting longitudinal data and conducting novel randomized interventions that focus on economic and psychological wellbeing and social cohesion.

UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business

I also assisted Professor Nick Tsivanidis at the Haas School of Business, Berkeley, on a project that aims to assess how the influx of Syrian migrants shapes the structure of urban areas in Jordan using a set of welfare measures. We use multiple data sources including administrative data from Jordan’s Department of Statistics, primary data we collected, and millions of call data records to define social networks. Michael Gechter (Penn State) and Nathaniel Young (EBRD) also lead this research.

More about the researchers leading these exciting projects

Edward Miguel is the Oxfam Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics and Faculty Director of the Center for Effective Global Action at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 2000.
Edward Miguel
University of California, Berkeley
Nick Tsivanidis is an Assistant Professor in the Haas School of Business and the Department of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is also Co-Director of the Cities Research Programme at the International Growth Centre.
Nick Tsivanidis
University of California, Berkeley
Theresa Beltramo is a Senior Economist and the Head of Research and Analytics in the UNHCR. Her research covers topics in development economics, behavioral economics, welfare and social protection.
Theresa Beltramo
Michael Gechter is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Penn State University. His research focuses on methodological issues in development economics.
Michael Gechter
The Pennsylvania State University
Utz Pape works as Economist in the Poverty GP with a focus on post-conflict and oil-rich countries. He actively contributes to the development of new methodologies for data collection and uses technology in innovative ways to improve data quality.
Utz Pape
World Bank
Sandra Rozo is an economist at the World Bank’s Development Research Group, a CEGA faculty affiliate, an IZA Research Fellow, a Faculty Member of the Schaeffer Center for Health and Economics Policy, and a Research Fellow at the Center for Economic and Social Research at USC.
Sandra Rozo
World Bank
Nistha Sinha is a Senior Economist in the Poverty and Equity GP working on the topics of poverty and distributional impacts, labor markets, and gender equality in the countries of Middle East and North Africa region.
Nistha Sinha
World Bank
Emma Smith is a PhD Candidate in Public Policy at Harvard University, with an interest in development and political economy. She has a regional focus in the Middle East and East Africa.
Emma Smith
Harvard University
Nathaniel Young is a Principal Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London. His research interests lie at the intersection of development economics and industrial organisation.
Nathaniel Young
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development


Python, ArcGIS, Algorithms, and Maps

I am lucky to learn how to use Python and ArcGIS through many of my tasks with Professor Nick Tsivanidis. I create maps, run algorithms and loops, and perform matrix algebra operations. As an aspiring economist, it seems to me that Python is a very powerful tool that I am getting to learn more about.

Below is an algorithm that I wrote to calculate a commute matrix to measure predicted change in residential populations and employment.

Stata, Stata, and Stata!

Economists use Stata a lot. Although I thought that what I learned about Stata during my master’s was enough, my work experience has shown me that there is a lot more to do. I use Stata to store descriptives in matrices, create loops for many outcomes from various surveys, and create sophisticated graphs.

Below is a screenshot from some programs that I wrote to create binscatter plots for our RCT and another to compare SRLS and JLMPS (2016) panel data.