Professor Dell is the Andrew E. Furer Professor of Economics at Harvard University. She is the 2020 recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded each year to an American economist under the age of forty who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge. In 2018, The Economist named her one of the decade’s eight best young economists, and in 2014 she was named by the IMF as the youngest of 25 economists under the age of 45 shaping thought about the global economy. Her research focuses on economic growth and political economy. She has examined the factors leading to the persistence of poverty and prosperity in the long run, the effects of trade-induced job loss on crime, the impacts of U.S. foreign intervention, and the effects of weather on economic growth. She has also developed deep learning powered methods for curating social science data at scale, released in the open-source package Layout Parser. This work supports many of her current projects, which rely on digitizing historical sources far too large for manual digitization. Professor Dell is a senior scholar at the Harvard Academy for Area and International Studies and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
She has published articles in the American Economic Review, Econometrica, the Journal of Economic Literature, and elsewhere. She received an AB degree in economics from Harvard University, a master’s degree in economics from Oxford University – where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar – and a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.