Dean Yang is an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, where he holds appointments at the Ford School of Public Policy and the Department of Economics. His areas of interest include international migration and remittances, microfinance, human capital, disasters, international trade, and crime and corruption. He is currently running survey work and field experiments among Central American migrant workers in the U.S., among potential overseas migrants in the Philippines, and on microfinance in Malawi and Mozambique. He teaches courses in development economics and microeconomics at the undergraduate, master, and Ph.D. levels. He was a visiting professor at Princeton University in 2006-07. He has worked as a consultant on development issues for the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the UNDP, and in El Salvador and Peru. A native of the Philippines, he received his undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Harvard University.
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-- 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 on the efficiency of credit markets? How do formal savings facilities affect farm input use, income, and general well-being among rural households?
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?
Credit Market Consequences of Improved Personal Identification: Field Experimental Evidence from Malawi, American Economic Review, forthcoming in October 2012 issue. (With Xavier Giné and Jessica Goldberg.)
Migrant Remittances, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 25, No. 3, Summer 2011, pp. 129-152.
Exporting and Firm Performance: Chinese Exporters and the Asian Financial Crisis, Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 92, No. 4, November 2010, pp. 822-842. (With Albert Park, Xinzheng Shi, and Yuan Jiang.)
Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall, American Economic Review, Vol. 99, No. 3, June 2009, pp. 1006-1026. (With Sharon Maccini. Click here for the Online Appendix.)
Insurance, Credit, and Technology Adoption: Field Experimental Evidence from Malawi, Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 89, 2009, p. 1-11. (With Xavier Giné.)
Risk, Migration, and Rural Financial Markets: Evidence from Earthquakes in El Salvador, Social Research, Vol. 75, No. 3, Fall 2008.
Coping with Disaster: The Impact of Hurricanes on International Financial Flows, 1970-2002, B. E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy: Vol. 8, No. 1 (Advances), Article 13, 2008.
International Migration, Remittances, and Household Investment: Evidence from Philippine Migrants' Exchange Rate Shocks, The Economic Journal, Vol. 118, April 2008, pp. 591-630.
Integrity for Hire: An Analysis of a Widespread Customs Reform, Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 51, No. 1, 2008, pp. 25-57. (Click here for the leadership data used in paper.)
Can Enforcement Backfire? Crime Displacement in the Context of Customs Reform in the Philippines, Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 90, No. 1, February 2008, pp. 1-14. (Click here for the Theory Appendix.)
Are Remittances Insurance? Evidence from Rainfall Shocks in the Philippines, World Bank Economic Review, Vol. 21 (2), May 2007, pp. 219-248. (With HwaJung Choi.)
Why Do Migrants Return to Poor Countries? Evidence from Philippine Migrants' Responses to Exchange Rate Shocks, Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 88, No. 4, November 2006, pp. 715-735. (Click here for the Theory Appendix.)
The Economics of Anti-Corruption: Lessons from a Widespread Customs Reform, in Susan Rose-Ackerman, ed., International Handbook of the Economics of Corruption, Elgar, 2006.
Remittances and Poverty in Migrants' Home Areas: Evidence from the Philippines, in Caglar Ozden and Maurice Schiff, eds., International Migration, Remittances, and the Brain Drain, World Bank, 2005. (With Claudia Martinez A.)