• associate professor


  • CV.

    Achyuta Adhvaryu


    CV (pdf)

    University of Michigan
    Affiliations: NBER, BREADIGC


    R4344, 701 Tappan Street, 48109


    PhD, economics, Yale University (2009)

    BA, math and economics, University of Pennsylvania (2004)

    Research interests: development economics, health economics


    BE 300 (Applied Microeconomics; BBA)

    BUSABRD 320 (Doing Business in India, BBA) 

    ECON 666 (Economic Development, PhD)



    In 2019-2020, BUSABRD 320, I will be teaching a global immersion course titled "Doing Business in India"





    BUSABRD 320: Doing Business in India

    2018-present | BBA | Syllabus


    ECON 666: Economic Development

    2018 | PhD | Syllabus


    BE 300: Applied Economics

    2015-present | BBA | Syllabus


    BE 888: Enterprise and Health in Emerging Economies 

    2014, 2016 | PhD | Syllabus


    HMP 663: The Economics of Health Management and Policy II 

    2014 | MPH/MHSA | Syllabus


    HPM 591a: Global Health Economics (at Yale)

    2010-2012 | MPH | Syllabus



    Early Life Circumstance and Adult Mental Health


    Income shocks in early life have large, lasting effects on mental health.



    pdf | blog | Journal of Political Economy, 2019 127(4)

    The Light and the Heat: Productivity Co-benefits of Energy-saving Technology

    LED lighting flattens the temperature-productivity gradient on hot days in Indian garment factories.
    pdf Review of Economics and Statistics (forthcoming)

    When It Rains It Pours: The Long-run Economic Impacts of Salt Iodization in the United States

    with Steven Bednar, Teresa Molina, Quynh Nguyen, and Anant Nyshadham


    Iodized salt increased women's income and labor force participation in the 20th century US.



    pdf | Review of Economics and Statistics, 2020, 102(2)

    Dust and Death: Evidence from the West African Harmattan

    with Prashant BharadwajJames FenskeAnant Nyshadham, and Richard Stanley

    Dust from the annual harmattan winds increases infant and child mortality in West Africa, but human adaptation has tapered these impacts over a 20 year period.
    pdf | Economic Journal (forthcoming)

    Conflict and the Formation of Political Beliefs in Africa

    Does childhood exposure to war perpetuate cycles of conflict in Africa?



    pdf | blog | Economic Development and Cultural Change (forthcoming)

    Booms, Busts, and Household Enterprise: Evidence from Coffee Farmers in Tanzania


    Households use small business activity to weather income shocks.



    pdf | published | World Bank Economic Review, 2019 (December)

    Health, Enterprise, and Labor Complementarity in the Household

    Household enterprise as a means of mitigating the effects of health shocks.
    pdf | published | Journal of Development Economics2017 (Issue 126)

    Endowments at Birth and Parents' Investments in Children

    Do parents invest more in smarter children?
    pdf | published | Economic Journal, 2016 (Issue 593)

    Returns to Treatment in the Formal Health Care Sector: Evidence from Tanzania

    Why is formal sector care better than self-treatment for sick children?

    pdf | American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2015, 7(3)

    Learning, Misallocation, and Technology Adoption: Evidence from New Malaria Therapy in Tanzania

    Misdiagnosis slows down the adoption of effective new therapies.


    pdf | appendix | Review of Economic Studies, 2014, 81(4)


    Firing Costs and Flexibility: Evidence from Firms' Labor Adjustments to Shocks in India

    with Amalavoyal Chari and Siddharth Sharma

    Pro-labor laws constrain firms' responses to shocks.
    pdf | published | Review of Economics and Statistics, 2013, 95(3)

    Schooling, Child Labor and the Returns to Healthcare in Tanzania

    Does accessing formal sector care affect sick children's time use?
    pdf | published | Journal of Human Resources, 2012, 47(2)

    The Long-Run Impacts of Adult Deaths on Older Household Members in Tanzania

    Do HIV-related deaths affect surviving elderly household members?
    pdf | published | Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2012, 60(2), lead article

    Publications | Working Papers | Work in Progress

    Management and Shocks to Worker Productivity


    When workers face productivity shocks, managers reallocate tasks within teams, shifting workers away from jobs in which their performance is most affected.



    pdf | july 2019

    Revise and resubmit, Journal of Political Economy

    Managerial Quality and Productivity Dynamics

    What makes a good manager good? We let the data tell us -- and find that hard-to-observe things like attention and control have large effects on productivity, and are drastically undervalued in manager pay. 
    pdf | feb 2019
    Revise and resubmit, Review of Economic Studies

    Returns to On-the-job Soft Skills Training

    Soft skills training on-the-job boosts worker productivity and generates large returns for the firm.
    pdf | december 2019
    Reject and resubmit, Journal of Political Economy

    Resources, Conflict, and Economic Development in Africa


    No understanding of the economic development of modern Africa can be complete without an appreciation of the role of natural resources. Our study is at the nexus of resources, conflict, and development, using theory and high-resolution spatial data from sub-Saharan Africa. Our results help explain why the most resource-rich countries are no better off than the most resource-poor.



    pdf | july 2020

    Revise and resubmit, Journal of Development Economics

    Fetal Origins of Mental Health: Evidence from Africa


    Temperature shocks during the in utero period significantly contribute to the adult mental health disease burden in Africa.



    pdf | blog | february 2019

    Reject and resubmit, Journal of Human Resources

    Expectations, Wage Hikes, and Worker Voice


    A randomized evaluation of Hirschman's (1970) seminal theory. Workers quit when wage increases do not meet their expectations, but enabling voice mitigates this exit.



    pdf | may 2020

    No Line Left Behind: Assortative Matching Inside the Firm


    Do talented managers match with productive workers, or with those who are struggling to perform? We find negative assortative matching of managers and workers. Despite supermodularity of production, "misallocating" managerial skill in this way may be optimal for firms who value buyer relationships.



    pdf | march 2020

    Helping Children Catch Up: Early Life Shocks and the Progresa Experiment


    Cash transfers mitigate a large fraction of the negative impact of early life shocks on educational attainment and employment outcomes.



    pdf | september 2020

    Absenteeism, Productivity, and Relational Contracting Inside the Firm

    with Jean-Francois Gauthier, Anant Nyshadham, and Jorge Tamayo


    Relational contracts are essential building blocks of the theory of the firm, but we know little about the form or function of these contracts in practice. We study the behavior of managers who share workers across teams to weather absenteeism shocks. Relationships have some smoothing value, but many potentially beneficial transfers are left unrealized. We simulate the gains to increased relationship formation and find that the firm could reduce worker misallocation and increase productivity substantially by spurring relationship formation.



    pdf | august 2020

    Education and the Meritocratic Recruitment of Bureaucrats

    with Huayu Xu



    Individuals who enjoyed preferential quota size for civil exams invested more in schooling and achieved better labor market outcomes.




    pdf | august 2020

    Diagnosing Quality: Learning, Amenities, and the Demand for Health Care


    Increasing access to nontechnical amenities substantially drives up the demand for cataract surgery in Mexico.



    pdf | july 2020

    Hostel Takeover: Living Conditions, Reference Dependence, and the Wellbeing of Migrant Workers


    Worker satisfaction depends critically on how expectations are set by firms. Migrant workers experienced large losses in subjective wellbeing when randomized improvements in hostel living conditions were more modest than expected.



    pdf | july 2020

    Protecting Infants from Natural Disasters: The Case of Vitamin A Supplementation and a Tornado in Bangladesh

    with Snaebjorn Gunnsteinsson, Parul Christian, Alain Labrique, Jonathan Sugimoto, Abu Ahmed Shamim, and Keith P. West, Jr.




    Can policy protect against the often devastating human impacts of environmental shocks? We study this question by leveraging data from a situation in which a tornado tore through an area involved in a double-blind cluster-randomized controlled trial of at-birth vitamin A supplementation in Bangladesh.


    pdf | april 2020



    Model Selection for Optimal Screening with AI in Hiring

    with Jean-Francois Gauthier, Yuqing Gu, Anant Nyshadham, and Jorge Tamayo


    Optimal Employment Contracts with Psychometrics 

    with Jean-Francois Gauthier, Anant Nyshadham, and Jorge Tamayo


    Empowerment for Positive Living in Uganda [project description]

    with Pamela Jakiela, Dean Karlan, and Ed Mills


    Training, Decentralization, and Information Frictions in the Firm

    with Snaebjorn Gunnsteinsson, Emir Murathanoglu, and Anant Nyshadham 


    Impacts of Skilling and Employment Opportunities on Female Migrant Workers and their Families

    with Anant Nyshadham, Priyanka Sarda, and Huayu Xu


    Behavioral Bidding in a Manufacturing Supply Chain

    with Russell Morton, Anant Nyshadham, and Jorge Tamayo 


    Leaderboards: Training, Multitasking, and Performance in the Fast Food Industry

    with Anant Nyshadham and Jorge Tamayo 


    The Impacts of Online Food Delivery on Quick Service Restaurants

    with Anant Nyshadham and Jorge Tamayo 


    Managerial Hierarchies, Demand Shocks, and Productivity: Evidence from Auto Manufacturing

    with Vittorio Bassi, Anant Nyshadham, and Jorge Tamayo 



    The Stakeholder Disagreement Metric (SDM): Quantifying Preference Disagreement Between Product Stakeholders

    with Suzanne Chou et al.

    Developing metrics for disagreement in the preferences of stakeholders in early-stage product design.

    Journal of Mechanical Design, forthcoming


    "He was trapped in his own web” - Dependent drinking as a poverty trap: a qualitative study from Goa, India

    with Jaclyn Schess et al.

    Qualitative evidence on alcohol consumption as a poverty trap in India.

    published (gated) | Drug and Alcohol Review, 2020


    Cash transfers for clinical and household economic outcomes among HIV-affected households in Uganda: A factorial randomized trial

    with Ed Mills et al.

    Can cash transfers improve the health of HIV-positive individuals in low-income settings?

    published (gated) | AIDS, 2018

    Management Quality and Worker Productivity in Developing Countries

    Review article: management interventions can improve worker and firm productivity in low-income country contexts. 

    pdf | IZA World of Labor, 2018


    An Experiment in India Shows How Much Companies Have to Gain by Investing in Their Employees

    with Lavanya Garg, Namrata Kala, and Anant Nyshadham

    A summary of our work on soft skills training for female garment workers in India.

    link | HBR, 2017


    Early Childhood Health and Development in India: A Review of the Evidence and Recommendations for the Future

    with Prashant Bharadwaj and Samuel Krumholz

    We review the status of early childhood development in India and make recommendations for future policy focus, informed by theory and evidence on interventions that work around the world.

    pdf | NCAER-Brookings India Policy Forum, 2017


    Psychological distress in Ghana: associations with employment and lost productivity

    with Maureen Canavan et al.

    What is the economic incidence of mental health disorders?

    published | International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 2013, 7(9)


    The Impact of a Novel Franchise Clinic Network on Access to Medicines and Vaccinations in Kenya

    with Justin Berk

    Franchised clinics may improve healthcare access for young children.

    pdf | published | BMJ Open, 2012, 2(4)