I am an applied micro economist and my research focuses on the study of education markets where private firms are subsidized and regulated by the government and compete with public providers. I study how specific market features interact to affect the strategic behavior of firms drawing on insights from the industrial organization literature. I study the way consumers in these markets make their decisions drawing on insights from the human capital literature from Labor Economics and the Education Economics. I use this framework in the design and the evaluation of public policies using a mix of experimental methods and structural estimation of micro econometric models.

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. The MineduLAB I helped start with JPAL and IPA in Peru is an example. Read more here or hereThe research center on higher education CIIP in the ministry of education of Peru is another example.  

In my recent research I have applied these ideas to the study of education markets in Chile leveraging the development of administrative data systems and important new policy changes. In ongoing work I am exploring similar concepts in new projects working with the governments of Peru, the Dominican Republic as well as ongoing work in Chile. The AVE project in Dominican Republic is one example.  My project DFM in Peru is another example. 

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
Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Affairs