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David Smerdon

Bocconi University

David is a PhD candidate in economics at the Tinbergen Institute and the University of Amsterdam, and currently a PODER fellow at Bocconi University in Milan. Before starting his PhD, he worked for the Australian Treasury in Canberra as a policy analyst in the areas of financial market regulation and Australia’s foreign aid programme. David’s main research fields are behavioural and development economics, often pursued through the use of lab or field experiments. His dissertation focusses on different topics within the intersection of development and psychology, such as harmful social norms and the social impact of refugee integration on host communities.  He joins a project at Bocconi that investigates the role of informal institutions and networks on development, working with Eliana La Ferrara and Selim Gulesci. 

During his fellowship, they studied the persistence of harmful social norms. The project, in colloboaration with Save the Children, involved designing and testing an intervention in Somalia that aimed to change individuals’ expectations about their community’s attitudes towards female genital cutting. He also, with Sabina Albrecht, examined the effect of refugee resettlement on social capital through a case study of a rural town in Australia.

PODER Appointment: October 2016 - August 2017