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William Dickens

University Distinguished Professor of Economics and Public Policy

William Dickens holds a joint appointment in the Department of Economics and the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. He is currently a non-resident senior fellow with The Brookings Institution and a visiting scholar with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Professor Dickens’ main research area is the cause of long-term unemployment and its consequences for monetary policy. Previously, Professor Dickens was the Thomas Schelling Visiting Professor in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, a senior fellow in residence at The Brookings Institution, and in 2008-09, a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation where he pursued writing and research as part of an interdisciplinary group studying the malleability of cognitive ability. He was also a senior economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, a visiting assistant professor at the Sloan School of Management, MIT, and a consultant for The World Bank.


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Journal Articles

“The Role of Inequity Aversion in Microloan Defaults,” Behavioral Public Policy (forthocoming), with Matthew Jordan, Oliver Hauser, and David Rand.

“Effects of Expanding a Non-Contributory Health Insurance Scheme on Out-of-Pocket Healthcare Spending by the Poor in Turkey,” British Medical Journal Global Health, (July, 2019), 4(4), with Abdullah Tirgil and Rifat Atun.

“The Changing Consequences of Unemployment for Household Finances,” Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences (May, 2017), with Robert Trieste and Rachel Sederberg.

“Twin Differentiation of Cognitive Ability Through Phenotype Environment Transmission: The Louisville Twin Study,” Behavior Genetics, (October, 2015) with Chris Beam, Deborah Davis, Deborah Finkel, and Eric Turkheimer.

Applying Biometric Growth Curve Models to Developmental Synchronies in Cognitive Development: The Louisville Twin Study,” Behavior Genetics, (September, 2015), with Deborah Finkel, Deborah Davis, and Eric Turkheimer.

“Effect of Introducing Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests in Drug Shops on Malaria Testing and Treatment in Uganda: An Impact Evaluation” Bulletin of the World Health Organization, (March, 2015) with Jessica Cohen, Gunther Fink, Kathleen Maloney, Katrina Berg, Matthew Jordan, Theodore Svoronos, and Flavia Aber.

“Determinants of malaria diagnostic uptake in the retail sector: qualitative analysis from focus groups in Uganda” Malaria Journal, (February, 2015) with Jessica Cohen, Alex Cox, Kathleen Maloney, Felix Lam and Gunther Fink.

“Access to Subsidized ACT and Malaria Treatment – Evidence from the First Year of the AMFm Program in Six Districts in Uganda” Health Policy and Planning, (June, 2013) with Jessica Cohen, Gunther Fink, and Matthew Jordan

“Feasibility of Distributing Rapid Diagnostic Tests for Malaria in the Retail Sector: Evidence from an Implementation Study in Uganda” PLoS ONE (November, 2012) with Jessica Cohen, Gunther Fink, Katrina Berg, Kathleen Maloney, Flavia Gloria Aber and Matthew Jordan

Book Chapters

“Adoption of Over-the-Counter Malaria Diagnostics in Africa: The Role of Subsidies, Beliefs, Externalities and Competition,” in  Molly Macauley and Ramanan Laxminarayan eds. The Value of Information: Methodological Frontiers and New Applications for Realizing Social Benefit (2012) with Jessica Cohen

“The Social Dynamics of the Expression of Genes for Cognitive Ability,” The Dynamic Genome and Mental Health, Ken Kendler, Sara R. Jaffee and Daniel Romer Eds. (2011) with Eric Turkheimer.

  • Education

    PhD, Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    BA, Social Studies, Bard College

  • Contact

  • Address

    301 LA
    360 Huntington Avenue
    Boston, MA 02115