Harris Public Policy professors who joined the faculty in 2015 and 2016, listed by policy area.

Conflict and International Development

Professor Christopher Blattman

Christopher Blattman, Ramalee E. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies

Christopher Blattman focuses on some of the biggest social challenges in Africa and Latin America: conflict, crime, and state building. An economist and political scientist, Blattman uses field study, surveys, natural experiments, and field experiments to study the dynamics of poverty and participation, and to consider which development programs work and why. Prior to joining Harris in July 2016, Blattman served as an assistant professor at Yale University and an associate professor at Columbia University. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree in public administration and international development from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Professor Oeindrila Dube

Oeindrila Dube, Philip K. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies

Oeindrila Dube focuses on understanding the causes and consequences of conflict and crime in the developing world. Dube’s current research interests include studying the role of employment opportunities in engaging at-risk Muslim youth, understanding the role of trauma in post-conflict recovery, and analyzing the role of gender in conflict. Before joining Harris in July 2016, she was an assistant professor of politics and economics at New York University and a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Global Development. She holds a PhD in public policy from Harvard University, an MPhil in economics from the University of Oxford, and a BA in public policy from Stanford University. She received a Rhodes Scholarship in 2002.

Professor James Robinson

James Robinson, The Reverend Dr. Richard L. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies and University Professor; Faculty Director, The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts

James Robinson joined the faculty in July 2015. A prominent political scientist and economist, Robinson has conducted influential research in the field of political and economic development and the factors that are the root causes of conflict. His work explores the underlying relationship between poverty and the institutions of a society and how institutions emerge out of political conflicts. Robinson has a particular interest in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. He is widely recognized as the co-author of Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, with Daron Acemoglu, which has been translated into 32 languages since its publication in 2012. Robinson received his PhD from Yale University, his MA from the University of Warwick, and his BSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Previously, he was the Wilbur A. Cowett Professor of Government at Harvard University and a faculty associate at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. 

Professor Austin Wright

Austin Wright, Assistant Professor 

Austin Wright leverages micro-level data to study the political economy of conflict and crime in Afghanistan, Colombia, Indonesia, Iraq, and Thailand. His research on substate conflict largely focuses on rebel strategy, examining how rebel groups adopt new technologies of war in a dynamic environment. Wright's research also unpacks how individuals respond to unexpected economic and climatic conditions, including projects on opium diseases and intelligence sharing, weather shocks and crime, and wildfires and interpersonal violence. He received a BA and BS from the University of Texas at Austin and an MA and PhD from Princeton University. He joined Harris in July 2016. 


Professor Koichiro Ito

Koichiro Ito, Assistant Professor

Koichiro Ito joined Harris in July 2015. His research interests lie at the intersection of environmental and energy economics, industrial organization and public economics. These include analyses of how consumers respond to nonlinear pricing, dynamic pricing and rebate programs in electricity markets, how intrinsic and extrinsic motivation affects their economics decisions, how firms strategically react to attribute-based regulation such as fuel economy standards and how firms respond to dynamic incentives in sequential forward markets in wholesale electricity markets.

Professor Ryan Kellogg

Ryan Kellogg, Professor

Ryan Kellogg studies energy and environmental economics, with an emphasis on markets for oil and gas, transportation fuels, and light-duty vehicles. His interest in these topics stems from four years of professional experience working for British Petroleum prior to attending graduate school. His research has examined such issues as the effects of oil price uncertainty on drilling activity in the United States, the effectiveness of US and California reformulated gasoline regulations, and the transmission of automobile brand preferences across generations within families. Kellogg received his PhD in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California, Berkeley. Before joining Harris in 2016, he was an associate professor of economics at the University of Michigan. 

Labor Economics

Professor Yana Gallen

Yana Gallen, Assistant Professor

Yana Gallen joined Harris in July 2016. Her research interests are broadly directed toward the fields of labor economics and public policy. Her scholarship focuses on understanding the sources of the gender pay gap and how much of the gap is explained by preferences, discrimination, and productivity. She is also interested in the impact of family friendly policies on the labor market, especially the indirect or unanticipated effects of policy reforms. Gallen graduated from the University of Chicago with a BS in mathematics with specialization in economics. She then spent a year as a research professional at the University's Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics prior to earning MA and PhD degrees in economics from Northwestern University. 

Political Economy

Professor Konstantin Sonin

Konstantin Sonin, John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor

Konstantin Sonin's research interests include political economics, development, and economic theory. In addition to his academic work, Sonin writes a blog on Russian political and economic issues and a column for the Russian-language newspaper Vedomosti and has contributed to all major Russian media. In 2012, he was an economic advisor to the presidential campaign of Mikhail Prokhorov. He received his PhD from Moscow State University. He joined Harris in July 2015.

Professor Peter Buisseret

Peter Buisseret, Assistant Professor

Peter Buisseret joined Harris in July 2015. His research interests are principally in political economy. His most recent work has focused on the effect of electoral rules on party competition, the strategic timing of political reforms, and the consequences of politicians’ human capital for voters’ welfare. He received his PhD from Princeton University. 

Professor Wioletta Dziuda

Wioletta Dziuda, Assistant Professor

Wioletta Dziuda's main research interests lie in applied game theory, political economy, and the economics of information. Her current work focuses on analyzing how legislative bargaining affects the nature and the efficiency of policies. She shows that in uncertain economic or political environments, policy making may lead to legislators’ polarization and inefficient policy inertia. She is currently applying her findings to the economics of regulations, in particular trying to explain the frequent use of inefficient economic instruments. She received her PhD from Princeton University. She joined Harris in July 2015. 

Professor Alexander Fouirnaies

Alexander Fouirnaies, Assistant Professor

Alexander Fouirnaies joined Harris in July 2016. His scholarly work addresses the political economy of elections. Much of his research focuses on how money and the media shape elections and affect representation and accountability. He is interested in causal inference and applied econometrics methodologies, and many of his projects make use of natural experiments to uncover causal relations between political and economic variables. Fouirnaies received a BSc in political science from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and a master’s degree in public and economic policy and a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He also holds an MSc in economics from Aarhus University in Denmark. 

Professor Luis Martinez

Luis Martinez, Assistant Professor

Luis Martinez is primarily interested in topics related to the political economy of development, including civil conflict and the natural resource curse. His current research includes studying the effects on insurgent activity and conflict intensity of increased access to Venezuelan territory by Colombian insurgent groups during the administration of Hugo Chávez. Other current research examines whether the source of government revenue (taxes vs. oil royalties) affects public good provision and the misbehavior of local public officials in Colombian municipalities. Martinez received a BA in economics and philosophy from Los Andes University and an MRes and PhD in economics from the London School of Economics. He joined Harris in July 2016.