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Natalie Bau

Natalie Bau’s research explores the interaction between cultural norms, economic behavior, and development policies. In one strand of her research, she studies the role norms play in determining how much an ethnic group’s female educational attainment increases in response to large-scale school-building programs. In another strand, she shows that pension plans may play a larger or smaller role in crowding out parents’ educational investments in their children depending on the cultural norms practiced by the parents’ ethnic group. Additionally, Natalie studies how policies can have unintended consequences, leading cultural practices to evolve and change. Understanding how culture affects individuals’ reactions to different policy initiatives is important for understanding how these policy initiatives will affect growth.


Connaught New Researcher Award

Christopher and Silvana Pascucci Graduate Student Dissertation Fellowship

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Harvard Inequality and Social Policy Doctoral Fellowship

Relevant Publications

N. Ashraf et al, “Bride Price and Female Education.” NBER Working Paper #22417, 2016



CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar Institutions, Organizations & Growth


University of TorontoDepartment of Economics


PhD (Public Policy) Harvard University

AB (Economics) Harvard University



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