dean yang


Video: Motivating Migrants, March 2014.

Forthcoming paper: Savings in Transnational Households, Review of Economics and Statistics.

Forthcoming paper: Motivating Migrants, Journal of Development Economics.

Forthcoming paper: Distortions in the International Migrant Labor Market, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Revised paper: Directed Giving (March 2013).

Revised paper: Unilateral Facilitation Does Not Raise International Migration from the Philippines (February 2014).

Revised paper: Subsidizing Remittances for Education (January 2014).

Revised paper: Revising Commitments (December 2013).

Revised paper: Commitments to Save (October 2013).


My research is on the economics of development in the world’s poor countries. I have ongoing research projects on financial decision-making among the poor, behavioral biases in economic decision-making, international migration, and migrant remittances. In the past I have also worked on health, disasters and risk, international trade, and crime and corruption.

Questions I have addressed in my research include:

International migration-- Do unilateral facilitation policies increase international labor migration? How do households use the earnings of migrant members? Why do migrants return to poor countries? Do remittances serve as insurance? Can innovative financial interventions stimulate remittances and channel them to more productive uses? What challenges do transnational households face in making optimal financial decisions?

Microfinance-- How important is imperfect personal identification for the efficiency of credit markets? How do formal savings facilities affect farm input use, income, and general well-being among rural households?

Behavioral economics-- How do self-control problems affect financial decision-making? How can financial products and social policy interventions be designed to help overcome behavioral biases that hinder good decision-making?

Disasters and risk-- What are the economic effects of disasters? How well are disaster losses buffered by international financial flows, such as foreign aid, migrants' remittances, and FDI?

Human capital-- How does windfall income affect household educational investment and child labor? How do health shocks early in life affect educational attainment and socioeconomic status in adulthood?

International trade-- Does exporting improve firm performance?

Crime and corruption-- Can monitoring by private firms help governments fight corruption?