Nathan Barker*

Yale University


Received Sylff fellowship in 2018
Academic supervisor: Christopher Udry, Dean Karlan, Mushfiq Mobarak, Mark Rosenzweig
Current affiliation: University of Chicago

“The Fading Treatment Effects of a Multi-Faceted Asset-Transfer Program in Ethiopia” with Dean Karlan, Christopher Udry, and Kelsey Wright (2023). Forthcoming, American Economic Review: Insights.

“Migration and Resilience during a Global Crisis” with C Austin Davis, Paula López-Peña, Harrison Mitchell, A Mushfiq Mobarak, Karim Naguib, Maira Emy Reimão, Ashish Shenoy, and Corey Vernot (2023). European Economic Review 158 (2023): 104524.

“Cognitive behavioral therapy among Ghana’s rural poor is effective regardless of baseline mental distress” with Gharad Bryan, Dean Karlan, Angela Ofori-Atta and Christopher Udry (2022). American Economic Review: Insights, 4(4), 527-45.

Nathan Barker is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy. His work examines jobs and occupational choice in developing countries. His research agenda includes two strands: first, he aims to understand the incentives and constraints that allow some individuals to find good jobs and economic opportunities, and that preclude others from doing so. Second, he aims to test programs and policies that can help individuals engage in productive livelihoods. His work has been published in the European Economic Review and American Economic Review: Insights. He received his PhD in economics from Yale University, and his undergraduate degree in international economics from Georgetown University.

Summary of Support Program Activities:
Nathan has received funding from the Sylff Foundation for his research project "Understanding the Barriers to Youth Job Search in Nairobi, Kenya." In the project, Nathan and collaborators examine the factors that prevent individuals from finding good jobs, with a particular focus on groups underrepresented in the formal labor market, including women and workers from low-income neighborhoods.

As part of this, we will examine both the ways that employers evaluate and search for workers, and jobseeker's preferences, beliefs and ways of searching for work. This project will examine the roles of discrimination, inequality in information, mistaken beliefs, and preferences for job attributes (such as a preference for flexibility, or safe commutes) affect the process of finding work. As part of this project, we will test whether or not providing jobseekers with information about the way that firms hire and evaluate labor affects their ability to effectively target and apply for jobs.


To contact this fellow, email the Sylff Association at sylff[a] (replace [a] with @).