I am an applied microeconomist and my research focuses on the study of markets where private firms compete with public providers and there are substantial subsidies and regulation. I study how these market features interact to affect the strategic behavior of firms drawing on insights from the industrial organization literature. I use this framework in the design and evaluation of public policies when the supply-side reaction is expected to be an important part of the story. In particular, my research in policy evaluation looks to quantify the impact of a policy while tracing out the demand and supply mechanisms behind said effect. This  is crucial in guiding the design of future policy that will take into account the strategic behavior of firms and how they react to changing consumer demand induced by the policy.

A second theme in my research agenda is to focus on working with governments and administrative offices that are currently designing or implementing policies that are relevant to my areas of interest. While this partnership clearly limits the range of potential policies I can study to those that are politically feasible it assures the policy relevance of the studies as well as access to administrative data. Importantly, this relationship with policymakers will often present the opportunity to influence the design of the policy, both to potentially improve it based on prior evidence as well as to facilitate ex post evaluation.

In my recent research I have applied these ideas to the study of education markets in Chile. These markets have a significant private sector and public-private interaction is a dominant feature of the market. In ongoing work I am exploring similar concepts in new projects working with the governments of Peru and the Dominican Republic. My general fields of study include Public Economics, Labor Economics, and Industrial Organization.

I work at Princeton University, where I have a joint appointment at the Economics Department and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. 

christopher neilson yale

Christopher Neilson
Princeton University