Associate Professor of Economics, Harvard University
MRR Innovation Lab Principal Investigator
Gautam Rao brings 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.
Rao is a National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Fellow and a faculty affiliate at the The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL). He serves as an associate editor at the Journal of Political Economy. Together with Frank Schilbach and Heather Schofield, he helps run the Behavioral Development Lab in India. Rao received his Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley.