• About Us
  • Team
  • Scholars
  • Affiliates
  • Job Opportunities

An independent and non-partisan organization, DRI is led by NYU Professors William Easterly and Yaw Nyarko.

Founded in 2006, the Development Research Institute is currently home to a growing team of researchers and students. 

Through our work, we seek to expand the number and diversity of serious commentators on the state of foreign aid and development. Our ultimate goal is to have a positive impact on the lives of the poor, who deserve the benefit of high-quality, clear-eyed, hard-headed economic research applied to the problems of world poverty.

Read more about DRI in the media.

William Easterly

William Easterly is Professor of Economics at New York University and co-director of the NYU Development Research Institute, which won the 2009 BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge in Development Cooperation Award. He is the author of three books: The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor (2014), The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good (2006), which won the FA Hayek Award from the Manhattan Institute, and The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics (2001).

He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed academic articles, and has written columns and reviews for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Review of Books, and Washington Post. He has served as Co-Editor of the Journal of Development Economics and as Director of the blog Aid Watch. He is a Research Associate of NBER, senior fellow at BREAD, and nonresident Senior Fellow at Brookings. Foreign Policy magazine named him among the Top 100 Global Public Intellectuals in 2008 and 2009, and Thomson Reuters listed him as one of Highly Cited Researchers of 2014. He was named among 100 Scientist Stars of Twitter by Science magazine. He is also the 11th most famous native of Bowling Green, Ohio.


Yaw Nyarko

Yaw Nyarko is a professor of Economics at New York University, and one of the most highly ranked African academic economists in the world. A theoretical economist, his current work focuses on models where the economic actors engage in active learning about their environments and human capital models of economic growth and development. He is the author of many published research papers and the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including many from the National Science Foundation. He is the Associate Editor of the Journal of Economic Theory, and was previously the Associate Editor of Economic Theory. He has been a consultant to many organizations including the World Bank, the United Nations, and the Social Science Research Council.


Laura Trucco


Laura Trucco has a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, and a B.A and M.A. in Economics from Universidad de San Andrés (Argentina). She is also a Harvard Academy Scholar. Click here for her personal website

Her research focuses on governance in developing countries. Among others, her current work looks at the effect of political turnover on bureaucrats’ turnover and service delivery, the relevance of land property rights on the extent of clientelism, and the relationship between citizens’ complaints and government effectiveness. 


Udit Thakur


Udit Thakur joined the Development Research Institute in April 2015, and assists in the coordination and management of research, programming and public outreach. He also writes for outside publications, on topics of economic and political development, foreign policy and democracy.  Prior to joining DRI, he worked for two years as a journalist in India, first for Scroll.in; and then as a freelancer, reporting on stories across South Asia. His writing has appeared in The Daily Beast, Foreign Policy, The Christian Science Monitor, Caravan (India), The Jamestown Foundation's Terrorism Monitor, The Scribbler, The Center for a New American Security's Counter-terrorism Blog, Scroll.in, and The New York Time's India Ink Blog. He holds a BA in International Relations from American University, Washington D.C., with concentrations in International Development and Comparative Religion. 


Madeleine Hardie

Madeleine Hardie brings six plus years of experience in higher ed administration and finance to her new role as Grants Manager at NYU Africa House, CTED, and DRI. In her most recent role at the NYU Bluestone Center for Clinical Research she managed a large grant portfolio and assisted with financial operations as the center's Senior Financial Analyst. Before that she worked in the NYU Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies as their Department and Budget Administrator.

Madeleine holds a Master's in Public Administration with a specialization in nonprofit finance from NYU Wagner, as well as a BA in Political Science and History from NYU CAS. As an undergrad, her studies focused on the Trans-Atlantic Region, including Africa, and in 2008 she studied abroad in Accra, Ghana for 4 months. Madeleine's professional interests include nonprofit financial management, business intelligence, data visualization, social justice, and poverty alleviation. She brings a passion for problem solving as well as a creative, detail-oriented approach to her work. In her spare time Madeleine enjoys gardening, yoga, graphic and interior design, and being outdoors.


Angus Deaton
Noble Laureate, Angus Deaton is the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Economics Department at Princeton University. His main current research areas are in health, wellbeing, and economic development.

He holds both American and British citizenship. In Britain he taught at Cambridge University and the University of Bristol. He is also a corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and of the Econometric Society and, in 1978, was the first recipient of the Society's Frisch Medal. He was President of the American Economic Association in 2009. In 2012 he was awarded the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award. In April 2014 he was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences on April 28, 2015.  He is the recipient of the 2015 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.

His current research focuses on the determinants of health in rich and poor countries, as well as on the measurement of poverty in India and around the world. He also maintains a long-standing interest in the analysis of household surveys. To view information about his research on India and world povertyhealth, or household surveys, click each corresponding link.

To view his working papers and publications and his letters published every six months in the Royal Economic Society Newsletter, click each corresponding link.

Helen Epstein
Helen Epstein is Visiting Professor of Human Rights and Global Public Health at Bard College. She was a fellow of the Open Society Foundations in 2013-2014. Her articles have appeared in The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, The Lancet and elsewhere. Her book The Invisible Cure: Why We Are Losing the Fight against AIDS in Africa was a New York Times notable book of 2007. She has also served as a con sultant for numerous organizations including UNICEF, The World Bank and Human Rights Watch.

Ross Levine
Ross Levine is the Willis H. Booth Chair in Banking and Finance at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Milken Institute, Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Ross Levine completed his undergraduate studies at Cornell University in 1982 and received his Ph.D. in economics from UCLA in 1987.  He worked at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System until 1990, when he moved to the World Bank. At the Bank, he managed and conducted research and operational programs. After teaching at the University of Virginia, Professor Levine became the Curtis Carlson Professor of Finance at the University of Minnesota, where he worked from 1999 until 2005. From 2005 through 2012, he worked at Brown University, where he was the James and Merryl Tisch Professor of Economics and Director of the William R. Rhodes Center for International Economics and Finance.  Professor Levine’s work focuses on the linkages between financial sector policies, the operation of financial systems, and the functioning of the economy. 

Dennis Whittle
Dennis Whittle is co-founder of GlobalGiving, where he was CEO from 2000-2010. Currently he is Director and Co-Founder of Feedback Labs. He has served recently as Executive Chairman of Ashoka Changemakers, Robin Richards Donohoe Professor of the Practice and Social Entrepreneur in Residence at UNC-Chapel Hill, Visiting Lecturer at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, and Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development. He is founder and President of The Whittle Group

Previously, Dennis was an economist at the World Bank (1986-2000), where he lived and/or worked for many years in Indonesia and Russia. His team there also created the Innovation Marketplace in 1998 and the Development Marketplace in early 2000. In 1984-85, Dennis worked for the Asian Development Bank and USAID in the Philippines, where he was an extra in one of Chuck Norris's best movies, Missing in Action (1984). 

In his formative years, Dennis was a short-order cook and busboy at several restaurants, including the late Oasis Restaurant in Leitchfield, KY and the late Porthole Restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC.

DRI is affiliated with Africa House, an interdisciplinary institute at NYU devoted to the study of  economic, political, and social issues on the African continent, as well as contemporary African art. 

DRI also works with the Center for Technology and Economic Development (CTED), located at NYU in Abu Dhabi. CTED combines economic principles, technological advances, and human-centric design to create innovative solutions for the problems experienced in emerging regions. 

DRI gratefully acknowledges generous support from New York University and The John Templeton FoundationThe C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, and The Thomas W. Smith Foundation.


lain Bertaud
Rajeev Dehejia
Kevin E. Davis
Raquel Fernandez
Karen Grepin 
Boyan Jovanovic
Sally Engle Merry
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita
Jonathan Morduch
Debraj Ray
Shankar Santyanath
Paul Romer
Alastair Smith

DRI Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship: Call for Applications

Title: NYU DRI Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship
Employer: New York University (Development Research Institute)
Location: United States
Position Type: Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Start Date: The position will start as soon as a suitable candidate is found.
Categories/Specialties: Development, Growth, Economic History, Political Economy
Deadline: Those who submit earlier have a higher chance of being selected.

The New York University Development Research Institute (DRI) is devoted to rigorous, scholarly research on economic growth, development, and related fields aimed at improving the welfare of the poor. For the 2017-2018 academic year, DRI is offering a competitive post-doctoral fellowship to a promising scholar working in development economics, political economy, economic history, or related fields. The fellowship provides opportunities for recent PhDs to draw from their individual areas of research, prior to taking on the full responsibilities of a faculty position. They also offer the benefit of collaboration with NYU faculty members, including DRI’s co-directors, William Easterly and Yaw Nyarko, and DRI affiliated faculty.

The co-directors are currently working on economic development topics related to foreign aid, economic of agriculture (especially food prices, market integration and commodities exchanges); and labor and migration. The candidate will have the opportunity to pursue some of their own research interests; a candidate whose project overlaps with DRI’s research focus will have a greater chance of being selected.

We seek a candidate not only of exceptional scholarly promise but also with an orientation towards informing and engaging in public debate and discussion on development issues. Although the Institute has its roots in economics, DRI recognizes that development is an interdisciplinary field and thus encourages applications from scholars whose work spans related disciplines, including politics, law, and public health. DRI is committed to encouraging the work of scholars with backgrounds outside of the U.S. and Europe. The successful post-doctoral fellow will spend one (1) year in residence conducting research at DRI, both individually and jointly with NYU faculty members. The DRI fellowship is predominantly a research appointment, with some possibility of area-specific teaching. The DRI fellow will participate in shaping DRI’s research agenda. He/She will be responsible for organizing seminars for members of the NYU community to share and discuss current development research, which will also serve as a platform for the fellow to showcase his/her own work. In addition to producing papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals, the fellow will be asked to contribute research content to the DRI website.

The projected stipend is competitive with similar positions, and the fellow may apply for additional funds for travel and research assistance as needed for specific projects. Final confirmation of the appointment is subject to budgetary approval. Candidates for this fellowship beginning in AY 2017-2018 should complete their Ph.D. between May 2016 and September 2017. A complete application will include:

1. A statement of intended research and goals, outlining your proposed research agenda;
2. 1 job market or sample paper;
3. 3 letters of reference; and
4. Your curriculum vitae.

To Apply: Applications should be submitted here via econjobmarket.org or to Delphine Demmerle Yaghmaian at dd116@nyu.edu. The subject line of your email should read: “Last name, First name: NYU DRI Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship.” Priority consideration will be given to individuals who apply on or before October 27th, 2017.  All applications will be reviewed until the fellowship has been filled.

New York University is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer.
EOE/AA/Minorities/Females/Vet/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity.