Assistant Professor of Economics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ph.D., Economics, 2013
Oxford University, M.Phil., Economics, 2008
Yale College, B.A., summa cum laude, Ethics, Politics and Economics, 2006
Fields of Specialization
Microeconomics (Undergraduate), Williams College (2013 - present)
Political Economy and Development (Undergraduate / Master's), Williams College (2014 - present)
Economy of China, Williams College (2014 - present)
Publications in economics journals
Besley, Timothy, Jessica Leight, Rohini Pande and Vijayendra Rao. 2016. “The Regulation of Land Markets: Evidence from Tenancy Reform in India.” Journal of Development Economics 118: 72-87.
Leight, Jessica. 2016. "Reallocating Wealth? Insecure Property Rights and Agricultural Investment in Rural China." China Economic Review 40: 207-227.
Leight, Jessica. 2017. "Sibling Rivalry: Ability and Intrahousehold Allocation in Gansu Province, China" Economic Development and Cultural Change 65 (3): 457-493.
Leight, Jessica. 2018. The Impact of Positive Agricultural Income Shocks on Rural Chinese Households Forthcoming, World Bank Economic Review On-line appendix
Publications in health journals
Sharma, Vandana, Willa Brown, Muhammad Kainuwa, Jessica Leight, and Martina Bjorkman Nyquist. 2017. “High Maternal Mortality in Jigawa State, Northern Nigeria Estimated Using the Sisterhood Method.” BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 17:163.
Sharma, Vandana, Jessica Leight, Fatima Abdulaziz, Nadege Giroux and Martina Bjorkman Nyqvist. 2017. “Illness Recognition, Decision-making and Care-seeking for Maternal and Newborn complications: A Qualitative Study in Jigawa State, Northern Nigeria.” Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition 36 (Suppl 1) 46: 59-96.
Economy of China and political economy
Value for Money? Community Targeting in Vote-Buying and Politician Accountability Under review On-line appendix
Exporting out of Agriculture: The Impact of WTO Accession on Structural Transformation in China (Joint with Bilge Erten) Under review
Trade Liberalization and Local Labor Market Adjustment in South Africa (Joint with Bilge Erten and Fiona Tregenna) Under review
Misallocation, Selection and Productivity: A Quantitative Analysis with Panel Data from China
Complementarity between Non-agricultural and Agricultural Shocks in Local Industrialization: Evidence from China
Maternal Education, Parental Investment and Non-cognitive Characteristics in Rural China (Joint with Elaine Liu) Revision submitted, Economic Development and Cultural Change On-line appendix
Associations between Birth Kit Use and Maternal and Neonatal Health Outcomes in Rural Jigawa State, Nigeria (Joint with Vandana Sharma, Willa Brown, Laura Costica, Fatima Abdulaziz Sule, and Martina Bjorkman Nyqvist) Under review
Community Health Educators and Maternal Health: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial
Research in Progress
Engaging Women to Improve Breastfeeding Outcomes in Tamil Nadu (Joint with Simone Schaner)
The Impact of Mentoring and Life Skills Training on Secondary School Progression and Child Labor Among Girls: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Rajasthan (Joint with Eric Edmonds and Benjamin Feigenberg)
Unconditional Cash Transfers and Intrahousehold Conflict: A Pilot Study in Kenya (Joint with Simone Schaner)
Using Cultural Ceremonies to Reduce Intimate Partner Violence and HIV Transmission: A Randomized Controlled Trial (Joint with Vandana Sharma and Negussie Deyessa) Video describing the intervention
Increasing Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Contributions: A Randomized Controlled Trial (Joint with Nicholas Wilson)
Can Reminders Increase Uptake of Flu Vaccine Among Pregnant Patients? (Joint with Nicholas Wilson)
Promoting Community and Labor Force Engagement through Service Learning and Life Skills Training: A Randomized Control Trial in Kazakhstan (Joint with Syon Bhanot, Benjamin Crost, and Eric Mvukiyehe)