Using economic theory and data analysis, explore the economic lives of the poor, and the ways to design and implement effective development policy.
Benjamin Olken is a Professor of Economics at MIT. His research focuses on political economy and public sector issues in developing countries, with a particular interest in corruption. He is a faculty Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT, Co-Scientific Director of the Lab’s Southeast Asia office in Jakarta, and Co-Chair of the Lab’s Governance Initiative.
Olken received his BA summa cum laude as a double-major in Mathematics and Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Yale University in 1997, and his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in 2004. In 1997-1998 he was a Henry Luce Scholar, living in Jakarta, Indonesia. He joined the MIT faculty as a tenured faculty member in 2008, directly after a three-year term as a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows and a one-year post-doctoral fellowship at the NBER.