KARLA HOFF is a Senior Research Economist in the Development Economics Group. Her research focuses on institutions and institutional change, particularly in India and the former Soviet Union. In experiments in north India, she has examined the implications of caste identity on the ability of individuals to respond to opportunity and to solve problems of cooperation and coordination. She has theoretically investigated coordination failures in the transition from communism, in particular, the relationship between privatization and the demand for the rule of law in post-Communist countries. She has coedited two books, Poverty Traps, which brings together three strands of the literature (on threshold effects, paths of institutional development, and neighborhood effects); and The Economics of Rural Organization, which uses theoretical tools of the economics of imperfect information together with case studies of markets in developing countries to advance the understanding of development policies. Her current work investigates the effect of role models and stereotypes on cognitive performance by children in India.
She has a PhD in Economics from Princeton, an MA from the Fletcher School, and a BA from Wellesley College. She was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cote d'Ivoire.
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