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
Leight, Jessica and Elaine Liu. 2018. "Maternal Education, Parental Investment and Non-cognitive Characteristics in Rural China." Forthcoming, Economic Development and Cultural Change. 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.
Leight, Jessica, Vandana Sharma, Willa Brown, Laura Costica, Fatima Abdulaziz Sule, and Martina Björkman Nyqvist. “Associations Between Birth Kit Use and Maternal and Neonatal Health Outcomes in Rural Jigawa State, Nigeria: A Secondary Analysis of Data from a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial.” Forthcoming, PLOS One
Economy of China and political economy
Trade Liberalization and Local Labor Market Adjustment in South Africa (Joint with Bilge Erten and Fiona Tregenna) Revision requested, Journal of International Economics
Exporting out of Agriculture: The Impact of WTO Accession on Structural Transformation in China (Joint with Bilge Erten) Under review
Value for Money? Vote-Buying and Politician Accountability (Joint with Dana Foarta, Rohini Pande and Laura Ralston) Under review
Misallocation, Selection and Productivity: A Quantitative Analysis with Panel Data from China (Joint with Tasso Adamopoulos, Loren Brandt and Diego Restuccia) Under review
Complementarity between Non-agricultural and Agricultural Shocks in Local Industrialization: Evidence from China
Community Health Educators and Maternal Health: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial
“That's a Woman's Problem”: A Qualitative Analysis of Male Involvement in Maternal and Newborn Health in Jigawa State, Northern Nigeria. (Joint with Vandana Sharma, Nadege Giroux, Fatima Abdulaziz, and Martina Björkman Nyqvist) Under review
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)
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)
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)
Can Entertainment Education be Used to Prevent Alcohol and Drug Use by Young People? (Joint with Laura Costica and Victor Orozco)