Associate Professor of Economics
Silvia Prina is a development economist interested in understanding the behavior of poor households for the purpose of uncovering potential strategies to improve their lives. Her first set of papers investigates how financial access, particularly via savings accounts (mobile and not) and digital credit, can affect the saving and investment behavior, networks, preferences, cognitive ability, mental health, and aspirations of the poor. A second set of papers investigates the determinants of investments in human capital and health. Her works feature rigorous empirical methods and the implementation of unique, randomized interventions to answer questions of central importance in development economics. She has been and is working on several field experiments in Mexico and Latin America, Nepal, Tanzania, Uganda, and the U.S.
- “Treatment Effect Accounting for Network Changes,” with Margherita Comola, forthcoming, Review of Economics and Statistics.
- “When Incentives Backfire: Spillover Effects in Food Choice,” with Manuela Angelucci, Heather Royer, and Anya Savikhin, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2019, 11(4): 66-95.
- “The Effects of Savings on Risk-Taking and Intertemporal Choice Behavior,” with Leandro Carvalho and Justin Sydnor, Journal of Development Economics, 2016, 120(5): 41–52.
- “Banking the Poor via Savings Accounts: Evidence from a Field Experiment,” Journal of Development Economics, 2015, 115: 16–31.
- “The Importance of Parental Knowledge and Social Norms: Evidence from Weight Report Cards in Mexico,” with Heather Royer, Journal of Health Economics, 2014, 37: 232–247.
- “A Theory of Endogenous Fertility with Occupational Choice,” with Dilip Mookherjee and Debraj Ray, American Economic Journal – Microeconomics, 2012, 4(4): 1–34.
- American Economic Association
- Econometric Society
- Innovations for Poverty Action
- Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association
Ph.D., Boston University, 2007
310A Lake Hall
360 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115