Research Fellow, IFPRI
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
Development economics, health economics
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
Erten, Bilge, Jessica Leight and Fiona Tregenna. 2019. "Trade Liberalization and Local Labor Market Adjustment in South Africa." Journal of International Economics 118: 448–467.
Leight, Jessica and Elana Safran. 2019. “Increasing Immunization Compliance Among Schools and Day Care Centers: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial.” Journal of Behavioral Public Administration 2(2): 1-15.
Exporting out of Agriculture: The Impact of WTO Accession on Structural Transformation in China (Joint with Bilge Erten) Forthcoming, Review of Economics and Statistics
Framing Flexible Spending Accounts: A Large-Scale Field Experiment on Communicating the Return on Medical Savings Accounts (Joint with Nicholas Wilson) Forthcoming, Health Economics
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. 2018. “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.” PLOS One 13 (12): e0208885.
“That's a Woman's Problem”: A Qualitative Analysis to Understand Male Involvement in Maternal and Newborn Health in Jigawa State, Northern Nigeria.” 2019. (Joint with Vandana Sharma, Nadege Giroux, Fatima Abdulaziz, and Martina Björkman Nyqvist). Reproductive Health 16 (143).
Economy of China and political economy
Misallocation, Selection and Productivity: A Quantitative Analysis with Panel Data from China (Joint with Tasso Adamopoulos, Loren Brandt and Diego Restuccia) Revision requested, Econometrica
Value for Money? Vote-Buying and Politician Accountability (Joint with Dana Foarta, Rohini Pande and Laura Ralston) Under review Experimental materials
Community Health Educators and Maternal Health: Experimental Evidence from Northern Nigeria
Advancing the Agency of Adolescent Girls (Joint with Eric Edmonds and Benjamin Feigenberg) Under review Project page
Effectiveness of a Culturally Appropriate Intervention to Prevent Intimate Partner Violence and HIV Transmission Among Men, Women and Couples in Rural Ethiopia: Findings from a Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial (Joint with Vandana Sharma, Fabio Verani, Samuel Tewolde, and Negussie Deyessa) Under review Video describing the intervention
The Impact of an Intimate Partner Violence Prevention Intervention for Men, Women and Couples on Substance Use and Depression in Ethiopia: Additional Findings from a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial (Joint with Vandana Sharma, Fabio Verani, Samuel Tewolde, and Negussie Deyessa) Under review
Research in Progress
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)
Promoting Community and Labor Force Engagement through Service Grants and Non-Cognitive 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)
Empowering Adolescent Girls to Access Effective Contraceptives (Joint with Simone Schaner and Denise Ferris)
Increasing Utilization of Women’s Health Services in Mozambique (Joint with Elana Safran and Julian Jamison)
Impact Evaluation of the Strengthen PSNP4 Institutions and Resilience (SPIR) Development Food Security Activity (DFSA) (Joint with Harold Alderman, Fantu Bachewe, Daniel Gilligan, Melissa Hidrobo, Gayathri Ramani and Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse)
Understanding the Relationship Between Women’s Empowerment and Women’s Increased Participation in Poultry Value Chains in Burkina Faso (Joint with Aulo Gelli and Jessica Heckert)