Welcome! I am a development economist, focusing on topics related to labor and behavioral economics. My research examines labor market imperfections in low-income settings.

I am currently a PhD Candidate in Economics at UC Berkeley. I have worked as a consultant for the World Bank and Save the Children. Prior to working as a researcher, I taught high school in a low-income school outside Boston.

I am on the job market this year and available for interviews before, during and after the (virtual) 2021 AEA/ASSA meetings.


My CV is here, and a description of my research is here.

Email: christinabrown@berkeley.edu

Job Market Paper

Inducing Positive Sorting through Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence from Pakistani Schools

with Tahir Andrabi

Abstract:

Attracting and retaining high-quality teachers has a large social benefit, but it is challenging for schools to identify good teachers ex-ante. This paper uses teachers’ contract choices and a randomized controlled trial of performance pay with 7,000 teachers in 243 private schools in Pakistan to study whether performance pay can attract and retain higher-quality teachers. Consistent with adverse selection models, we find that performance pay can induce positive sorting: both high value-added teachers and teachers who respond more strongly to incentives significantly prefer performance pay and sort into these schools. Using two additional treatments, we show effects are more pronounced among teachers with more information about their quality and teachers with lower switching costs. Teachers have more information about their quality than their principals, and this holds throughout most of their tenure. Accounting for these sorting effects, the total effect of performance pay on test scores is twice as large as the direct effect on the existing stock of teachers, suggesting that analyses that ignore sorting effects may substantially understate the benefits of performance pay.

The rest of my papers are here.