Benjamin Olken




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.

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Feb 6th 2017

Using economic theory and data analysis, explore the economic lives of the poor, and the ways to design and implement effective development policy. In this course, we will study the different facets of human development in topics such as education, health, gender, the family, land relations, risk, informal and formal norms, public policy, and institutions.

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