Research

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players.

A Literary Theory of Games and Economic Behavior by William ShakespeareJournal of Political Economy, 122(4), back cover quote suggested by Kweku Opoku-Agyemang (2014).

Research Interests
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Political Economy and Behavioral Economics
  • Industrial Organization
  • Economics of Information
  • Econometrics, Statistics and Data Science
Publications

Scaling Up Peer Education with Farmers in India (2017). [first author] (with Bhaumik Shah and Tapan S. Parikh). accepted. Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM Ninth International Conference on Information Technologies and Communication for Development. Association of Computing Machinery/Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Encountering Poverty: Thinking and Acting in an Unequal World (by Ananya Roy, Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales, Kweku Opoku-Agyemang and Clare Talwalker). University of California Press, 2016.

Modeling Poverty (in Encountering Poverty: Thinking and Acting in an Unequal World (by Ananya Roy, Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales, Kweku Opoku-Agyemang and Clare Talwalker). University of California Press, 2016.

Working Papers
Human-Computer Interaction

Behavioral Economists, Human-Computer Interactions and Research Transparency (2017).  [Working Paper

I model economists as being themselves behavioral, and not fully rational in how they implement their research. I characterize research results as a network graph of data analyses at the level of human-computer interactions that contain graph copies whenever the economist manifests behavioral shortcomings. Ethical and transparent research emerges as a unique graph. I allow researchers to hold themselves accountable with commitment devices that eliminate behavioral copies of research graphs. In so doing, I introduce a solution to the problem of the so-called garden of forking paths. Applications are based in economic theory, machine learning, and qualitative research for program evaluation design. Transparency may scale if researchers become more aware of software commitment devices that enable creativity via preanalysis plans, open data, dynamic documents and time-stamped analyses. Human-computer interaction has a fundamental role to play in research transparency.

Human-Computer Interactions with Behavioral Science  (2017). invited by Behavioral Scientist. [under review]

Information science meets behavioral science for next-generation research.

Political Economy and behavioral economics

Does Raising Police Salaries Lower Petty Corruption? A Policy Experiment on West African Highways (with Jeremy Foltz). [International Growth Centre Working Paper].  London School of Economics Connect Magazine, Seeker: A Discovery Digital Network, Seeker Daily, The EconomistCherokee Gothic: Development.Growth.Macro, World Bank Africa Can End Poverty Blog, African Development Bank Evaluation Matters: Impact Evaluation Insights from Practitioners 

We evaluate one of the most ambitious salary structure reforms in Africa, finding that raising police salaries worsened petty corruption. Read More

 

Does Opening Complaints Data Change Company and Consumer Behavior? Evidence from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau [SSRN Working Paper] [SocArXiv Preprint]

Original version: January 2014.

Transparency both reforms and benefits the credit card industry. Read More

 

Social Science Can Develop Startups for Development [SocArXiv Preprint

Like the mobile phone revolution before it, startups in developing economies are taking scholarship by surprise. Social science can help unpack the next-generation of economic development in Africa.

Smartphones for Smart Policy: Mobilizing the Social Sciences to Fight Global Poverty [Authorea]

Original Version: January 2016

After changing poverty and development, mobile phones are poised to transform behavioral and social science themselves. Read More

Economics of Information

Perspective Coordination:  Empathy and Information Asymmetries [SocArXiv Preprint

Original version: October 2016. 

A lack of empathy can be a more general explanation for information asymmetries than a lack of information, as current events such as the “fake news” phenomenon and others hint. Read More

Econometrics, Statistics and Data Science

Real-Time Causal Inference [SSRN Working Paper][SocArXiv Preprint][PsyArXiv Preprint][EngrXiv Preprint]

Original version: March 2014. 

Statistical experimentation with real-time data. Read More

Industrial Organization

Economies of Score [SSRN Working Paper][SocArXiv Preprint]

Original version: March 2016. 

An economies of scope and scale to understand the industrial organization of the smartphone-mobile app ecosystem. Read More

Research Papers in progress

 

Rebuilding Trust in the Social Sciences with Empathy. Profile in Fall 2014 Blum Center for Developing Economies Newsletter

Original Version: September 2014

Rebuilding trust in the social sciences for policy making. Read More

Central Validity and Feasibility Inference

Development Impact Lab 2016 State of the Science Conference, University of California, Berkeley.

In-between internal and external validity is a qualitative “central” validity. Read More

Time-Inconsistency and Randomized Controlled Trials 

An approach for experiments with time-inconsistency. Read More

Computational Linguistic Causal Inference: A Natural Language Processing Discontinuity Design Approach

Introducing natural language processing work to statistical causal inference using regression discontinuity designs. Read More

Filtering Causal Impacts from Remote Sensing: Topological Program Evaluations

The behavioral economics of computer-supported cooperative work

RCTA: Randomized Controlled Text Analysis

A literary approach to statistical causal inference. Read More

The Unequal Economics of the Undead: Evidence from 2.6 Terabytes of Leaktivism

Entrepreneurship and Growth

Economic Vegetarianism

The Computer Science of Kente: Cloth Weaving as Programming Language

Information Technology and the Global Fight Against Health Poverty (in progress)

Mobile Money Spillovers: Evidence from Kenya (in progress)

State Capacity Adoption: Experimental Evidence from Mobile Innovation (in progress)

(A)moral Hazard: Evidence from Mobile Health (in progress) 

Policy makers are hopeful that mobile health  can improve health outcomes in developing countries. I find evidence of a unique form of moral hazard with respect to mobile health technologies.

Pipe Dreams? Dilemmas from Ghana’s Oil (in progress)

Trade Impacts in China (in progress)

Information Asymmetries, Savings and Credit (with Jeremy Foltz).

Gender Bias in Informal Financial Institutions: Evidence from Susu Collection in Ghana (with Jeremy Foltz).

Empowering women can lessen gender bias in deposit collection.

Low-Intensity Conflict and Schooling Outcomes: Evidence from Uganda (with Jeremy Foltz)

A Self-Control Agency Conflict

Priming human-computer interactions: Experimental evidence from economic development mobile surveys [SSRN Working Paper] [PsyArXiv Preprint] [SocArXiv Preprint]  African Development BankUC Berkeley News Media, Blum Center, California Magazine, BORGEN Magazine

How can people be encouraged to discuss controversial but worthwhile subjects? Randomized controlled trials based on human-computer interactions provide a novel mechanism for quantifying how attracted people feel to their localized preferences for governance, sanitation, health and related international development issues.

Diet and Behavior in Northern Ghana (in progress)

Bandwagons: Theory and Evidence (in progress)

Case Studies and Policy Projects

CellScope: A Development Engineering Case Study (2014) (with Syed Imran Ali, Frankie Myers, Clay Ruben and Daniel Fletcher) 

The Rural Electric Power Project: A Development Engineering Case Study (2014) (with Matt Podolsky, Temina Madon, Carson Christiano, Ken Lee, Javier Rosa, Syed Imran Ali, Eric Brewer, Catherine Wolfram, and Edward Miguel)

Evaluating Impacts in a Complex World (with Samir Doshi) (in progress)

A Human-Computer Interactions Approach for Research Transparency [SocArXiv Preprint]