Dean Karlan

Frederic Esser Nemmers Distinguished Professor of Economics and Finance, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Chief Economist, USAID

Dean Karlan is the Frederic Esser Nemmers Distinguished Professor of Economics and Finance at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.  He is also the Chief Economist of USAID and the co-Director of the Global Poverty Research Lab at Northwestern University. Prior to this he was at Yale. Karlan is also Founder of Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), and a founding Research Fellow of the M.I.T. Jameel Poverty Action Lab. He has been awarded a Sloan Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. His research focuses on microeconomic issues of poverty, specifically employing experimental methodologies to examine what works, what does not, and why. He focuses on social protection and income-generating efforts for those in abject poverty, as well as microfinance program design internationally and voting, charitable giving, and behavioral health decisions domestically. In microfinance, he has studied interest rate policy, credit evaluation and scoring policies, entrepreneurship training, group versus individual liability, savings product design, credit with education, and impact from increased access to credit. His work often uses insights from psychology and behavioural economics to design and test specialised products. Karlan received a Ph.D. in Economics from M.I.T., an M.B.A . and an M.P.P. from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Virginia.