Yonas Alem is a Senior Research Fellow at the Environment for Development. He is also the Director of Academic Programs with the main responsibility of managing the collaborative Ph.D. programs jointly run by the Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg with universities in Africa. Alem received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Gothenburg in 2011. From 2011-2019, he served as the Research Director of Environment for Development and has been a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, and Brown University. During the past decade, he has taught Ph.D. courses in Advanced Panel Data Econometrics, Impact Evaluation and Causal Inference, and Development Economics, and supervised several Ph.D. students at the University of Gothenburg and other universities.
In his previous research, Alem applied microeconomics and econometrics to research on a range of topics related to poverty, economic development, and the environment in developing regions of the world, with a particular focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. He has used panel data econometrics and randomized controlled trials to conduct research on the impact of shocks, the dynamics of poverty, and the constraints of technology adoption. Alem has conducted research and fieldwork in Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa, India, and the United Kingdom.
Alem’s current research focus is in the area of Behavioral Development Economics, an emerging sub-discipline of Economics, which applies insights from Psychology and Behavioral Economics to understand the commonly observed poor decision-making and outcomes of economic agents in developing countries. He has ongoing work investigating inconsistency in intertemporal decisions, distributional preferences, and decision-making under risk and uncertainty, using large-scale randomized controlled trials and lab-in-the-field experiments.
Behavioural Development Economics