Gautam Rao

Associate Professor of Economics, Harvard University


Bio

Contact

Office Hours

Publications

Working Papers

Work in Progress

From Another Life

Personal

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Bio

I am an Associate Professor at the Department of Economics at Harvard University. I graduated from UC Berkeley with a PhD in Economics in 2014.

My research tries to bring insights from psychology to bear on topics in economics, particularly topics relevant to developing countries. Recent projects include studying how improving sleep affects the economic outcomes of workers in India, how the endowment effect influences consumer demand for collateralized loans in Kenya, how research findings affect the beliefs and policy choices of mayors in Brazil, and how mixing rich and poor students in schools in India affects social preferences and behaviors.

I am 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). I serve as an Associate Editor at the Journal of Political Economy. Together with Frank Schilbach and Heather Schofield, I help run the Behavioral Development Lab in India.

Curriculum Vitae (Updated May 2018)


Contact

Email: grao@fas.harvard.edu
Tel: +1 (857) 998-4505
Address:
Department of Economics
Littauer Center M-30, Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138
U.S.A.

Teaching (Spring 2020)
Econ 2338: Behavioral Development Economics
Econ 980: Behavioral Economics of Poverty and Development (junior seminar)

Information for (potential) advisees


Office Hours

Office hour appointments can be booked online or by email.
Online signup (students only): https://raoofficehours.as.me/
Note: If the above slots don’t work for you, please email me to set up a meeting.


Publications

The Importance of Being Marginal: Gender Differences in Generosity

(with Stefano DellaVigna, John List and Ulrike Malmendier)

American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, May 2013

Abstract (click to expand)

Online Appendix

Voting to Tell Others

(with Stefano DellaVigna, John List and Ulrike Malmendier)

Review of Economic Studies, January 2017

Abstract (click to expand)

Online Appendix

Data and Code

Status Goods: Experimental Evidence from Platinum Credit Cards

(with Leonardo Bursztyn, Bruno Ferman, Stefano Fiorin and Martin Kanz)

Quarterly Journal of Economics, August 2018

Abstract (click to expand)

Online Appendix

Data and Code

AEA Pre-Registration

Familiarity Does Not Breed Contempt: Diversity, Discrimination and Generosity in Delhi Schools

American Economic Review, March 2019

Abstract (click to expand)

Online Appendix

Behavioral Development Economics

(with Michael Kremer and Frank Schilbach)

Handbook of Behavioral Economics, Volume 2 (2019)

Slides (pdf)

Slides (tex and bib files)

Slides (ppt)


Working Papers

Estimating Social Preferences and Gift Exchange with a Piece-Rate Design

(with Stefano DellaVigna, John List and Ulrike Malmendier)

Current Version: June 2019

Abstract (click to expand)

AEA Pre-Registration: This includes a full pre-registration of the structural model

How Research Affects Policy: Experimental Evidence from 2,150 Brazilian Municipalities

(with Jonas Hjort, Diana Moreira, and Juan Francisco Santini)

Current Version: July 2019

Abstract (click to expand)

Self-Control and Demand for Preventive Health: Evidence from Hypertension in India

(with Liang Bai, Benjamin Handel and Ted Miguel)

Current Version: August 2019

Revised and Resubmitted, Review of Economics and Statistics

Abstract (click to expand)

AEA Pre-Registration: Including theoretical model and pre-analysis plan


Work in Progress

The Endowment Effect and Collateralized Loans

(with Kevin Carney, Xinyue Lin, and Michael Kremer)

Slides

The Economic and Behavioral Effects of Poor Sleep Among the Urban Poor

(with Frank Schilbach, Heather Schofield, Mattie Toma, and Pedro Tepedino)

Pre-Registration

The Economic Consequences of Depression

(with Jon de Quidt, Johannes Haushofer, Frank Schilbach, and Pierre-Luc Vautrey)

The Long-Run Impacts of Corporal Punishment in Schools

(with Maria Petrova and Brian Wheaton)

Learning in the Household

(with John Conlon, Matthew Ridley and Frank Schilbach)


From Another Life

Interactions between Organizations and Networks in Common-Pool Resource Governance, with Arun Agrawal, Dan Brown, Rick Riolo and Derek Robinson, Environmental Science & Policy, Volume 25, January 2013, Pages 138–146

Preservation or degradation? Communal management and ecological change in a southeast Michigan forest, with Fred Nelson, Elisa Collins, Alain Frechette, Cynthia Koenig, Mosé Jones-Yellin, Brihannala Morgan, Gita Ramsay, and Claudia Rodriguez, Biodiversity and Conservation, October 2008, Volume 17, Issue 11, pp 2757-2772


Personal

Fearless Sidekick - Kirby passed in Aug 2016

Website: I am grateful to Xinyue Lin for building my website. Please feel welcome to use and re-purpose the code for the website, which you can find at my GitHub repository.