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Psychology and Economics of Poverty Convening 2024

Health & Psychology Conference   |   Apr 26 2024

Workers turning over paddies for drying in Bangladesh | tutul_1410 via Adobe Stock

Interdisciplinary research is providing new insights into the psychological consequences of poverty and downstream impacts on social and economic development. Through collaborations across psychology, economics, and other disciplines, this work is producing evidence with the potential to shape programs and policies designed to improve lives and promote well-being.

On Friday, April 26, 2024 CEGA’s sixth annual Psychology and Economics of Poverty (PEP) Convening will bring researchers, implementing partners, and policymakers together to share original work in this space. This event will take place in person at UC Berkeley. Participants who cannot join in person may attend the convening virtually via livestream.

Register to Attend

We encourage attendance by interested faculty, PhD students, postdocs, researchers, implementing partners, and policymakers. The PEP Convening is free for attendees but we do require registration and space is limited. Speakers selected for presentation will receive travel and accommodation support. We cannot offer travel support for attendees that are not speakers.


Speakers denoted by italics and an asterisk. Co-authors listed in alphabetical order denoted by †. Short Q&A to follow each presentation and general discussion to follow certain sessions. Please find a PDF of the detailed agenda linked here and an overview below.

Session 1 – Exploring Cognition: Socioeconomic and Environmental Impacts

Exploring the Influence of Socioeconomic Status on Adolescent Brain Responses to Reward, Risk Taking, and Learning

Alexandra Decker, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Psychology)*, Steven Meisler, Nicholas Hubbard, Clemens Bauer, Julia Leonard, Hannah Grotzinger, Melissa Giebler, Yesi Torres, Andrea Imhof, Rachel Romeo, John Gabrieli


Prenatal Air Pollution Exposure and Early-Childhood Cognition: The Role of Micronutrient Powder Intervention

Xuqian Ma, UC Berkeley (Health Policy)*, Renfu Luo, Lingling Hou, Yuhang Pan


Bad Luck or Bad Decisions? Macroeconomic Implications of Persistent Heterogeneity in Cognitive Skills and Overconfidence

Oliver Pfäuti, Fabian Seyrich, Jonathan Zinman, Dartmouth College (Economics)*


Session 2 – Lightning Talks

Expected Discrimination and Job Search

Deivis Angeli, University of British Columbia (Economics)*, Ieda Matavelli, Fernando Secco


Is In-kind Kinder than Cash? The Impact of Money vs. Food Aid on Social Emotions and Aid Take-up

Samantha Kassirer, Northwestern University (Behavioral Science)*, Ata Jami, Maryam Kouchaki


The Impact of a Monthly Unconditional Cash Gift on Cognitive Bandwidth of U.S. Mothers with Low Income

Shannon Egan-Dailey, Duke University (Public Policy)*, Lisa Gennetian, Greg Duncan†, Nathan Fox†, Sarah Halpern-Meekin†, Katherine Magnuson†, Kimberly Noble†, Hirokazu Yoshikawa†


Keynote Address

Keynote Address: A Socioecological Psychology of Decision-Making in Low-Income Contexts

Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington, London School of Economics (Psychology)*

Session 4 – Understanding Psychosocial Forces: Agency, Aspirations and Social Pressure

Building Personal or Interpersonal Initiative? How Psychologically and Culturally Wise Interventions Help Reduce Extreme Poverty in Niger

Catherine Thomas, University of Michigan (Psychology)*, Patrick Premand, Thomas Bossuroy, Soumaila Abdoulaye Sambo, Hazel Markus, Gregory Walton


Keeping Up Appearances: An Experimental Investigation on Social Pressure and Relative Ranks

Pascaline Dupas, Marcel Fafchamps, Stanford University (Economics)*, Laura Hernandez-Nunez


Session 5 – Measuring Psychological Mechanisms: Challenges and Opportunities

Intertemporal Choice Bracketing and the Measurement of Time Preferences

Yonas Alem, John Loeser, World Bank (Economics)*, Aprajit Mahajan


Measures of Holistic Skills in RCTs: Review and Guidelines

Karen Macours, Jessica Williams, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (Economics)*, Samuel Wolf


Public Transportation and Parking

Public Transportation

Blum Hall is a 20-minute walk from the Downtown Berkeley BART station. Exit to Shattuck Avenue and Center Street. Walk north on Shattuck Avenue, turn right on Center Street, enter campus along University Drive and take campus pathways to Blum Hall.


The closest parking lot to Blum Hall is listed below. Parking is pay by the hour.

Lower Hearst Structure (3-min walk from venue)

2451 Hearst Ave

Berkeley, CA 94709

For a list of other parking lots and pricing around campus, please see

For other information about driving directions, please see


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Date & Time

Apr 26 2024
08:30 - 17:30 PST

Scientific Directors
Convening Organizing Committee
Code of Conduct

CEGA is dedicated to a harassment-free event experience for everyone. Our Code of Conduct can be found here.

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