Rachel Cassidy is a Research Associate at IFS. She is a development economist who applies methods and insights from experimental and behavioural economics. Her work uses field and "lab-in-field" experiments to understand topics including intra-household bargaining, violence against women and girls, adoption of contraceptive technologies, time preferences, and savings behaviour. She has managed successful research projects and grants in Malawi, Pakistan and Ghana.
Rachel received her DPhil (PhD) in Economics from the University of Oxford and spent time as a visiting PhD student at Stanford University. Alongside her PhD research she also taught microeconomics on Oxford Said Business School's MBA programme. Prior to her PhD, Rachel worked as an economist for the European Commission and also has experience in management consulting. She is currently a Research Economist at the World Bank's Africa Gender Innovation Lab.
PhD Economics, University of Oxford, 2017
MSc (Distinction & prize for best thesis) Economics for Development, University of Oxford, 2011
BA (First Class Honours) Politics, Philosophy and Economics, University of Oxford, 2009
Policymakers and clinicians in global health often face considerable uncertainty when making decisions. Statistical uncertainty—arising from the fact that analysis and modelling typically use samples rather than whole populations—can be accounted for by placing confidence intervals on the estimated impacts of different policies and treatment regimes.
While poverty may impair decision-making, some of the apparently irrational behaviour observed among the poor may have a rational expectation. In particular, estimates of "present-bias" among the poor may be exaggerated if poor individuals are credit-constrained and expect to have greater liquidity in future. I conduct an experiment in rural Pakistan which provides evidence of this effect.
There is a large gender gap in the likelihood of taking maths and physics at A-level, even among high-achieving pupils. Among pupils who achieved grade A or A* (equivalent to grades 7-9) in GCSE maths in 2010, 36.5% of girls compared to 51.1% of boys took maths A-level. Among those who achieved grade A or A* in GCSE physics, just 13.2% of girls compared to 39.3% of boys took physics A-level. By contrast, there is almost no gender gap in the likelihood of taking chemistry A-level amongst those who score highly in the subject at GCSE, and girls are actually more likely to take biology A-level than boys.
Despite receiving 55% of A levels overall in 2018, girls received just 43% of A levels awarded in STEM subjects. Rachel Cassidy, Sarah Cattan and Claire Crawford explore what drives girls’ A level choices, including why they may or may not opt for maths or physics.
In a new CSAE working paper, IFS researcher Dr Rachel Cassidy uses a randomised controlled trial to examine the link between intra-household bargaining and use of new contraceptive technologies in Mozambique.
In a new VoxEU article, IFS post-doctoral fellow Rachel Cassidy and Professor Marcel Fafchamps (Stanford University) discuss findings from their study on savings groups and financial intermediation in Malawi.
Research on savings groups and financial intermediation in Malawi, joint with Professor Marcel Fafchamps, published as a CEPR Working Paper (12715).