Dr. Kevin Carney is joining the Department of Economics this fall as an Assistant Professor of Economics. Having most recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago, Dr. Carney is excited by the opportunity to return to his undergraduate stomping grounds. “The University of Michigan is already familiar to me and comes with a sense of nostalgia. I look forward to discovering how it has changed over the past decade.”

Dr. Carney will be offering academic advising to students and intends to match his approach to the needs of his advisees. ”I enjoy discussing the details of the research process like experimental/empirical design, data analysis, fieldwork challenges, and how to interpret results.” In order to get the most out of these meetings, he said, “I find it useful when students send me brief material to review in advance of our discussion.”

Although he will not be teaching in the fall term, Dr. Carney has a clear view of what he would like students to gain from his courses. “For graduate students, I hope that my teaching helps students come up with their own research ideas in part by learning to engage with the work of others at the research frontier. For undergraduates, I hope that my teaching expands their view of what economics can do and gives them new tools to understand and analyze the world around them.”

Dr. Carney specializes in development and behavioral economics. His research has generated insights into the psychology of ownership and demand for collateralized loans in Kenya, and into the effects of social media participation on political knowledge and party preferences in India. A current research project of Dr. Carney’s studies a novel primary school intervention being rolled out across India called a ‘happiness curriculum.’ Students in India face serious mental health challenges. This innovative approach seeks to improve educational outcomes by improving mental health, using a mindfulness-based approach. “With a team of researchers, we are conducting a policy experiment to understand how this curriculum influences a variety of traits that economists would call ‘human capital’: academic abilities, ‘soft’ interpersonal skills, mental wellbeing, and ability to respond to challenges,” he explained.

When discussing what drew Dr. Carney to this role, he mentioned the vibrant research environment, the large and active development economics community, and the caliber of the students, concluding, “I’m excited to meet and learn from this fantastic community of scholars.”

Please click here to view Dr. Carney’s profile.