Christopher Oconnor

Economics PhD Candidate


I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Economics, Finance, and Legal Studies at the University of Alabama, with expected graduation in Spring 2022. My research agenda focuses on examining the distributional effects of development policies and programs, how these programs can affect resilience/ vulnerability and poverty, and how policies perform in the presence of heterogeneous agents.

While economic growth makes economic development possible, there is no guarantee that it will lead to welfare improvements of the most fragile groups in society, including marginalized groups and those living in rural agricultural areas of developing countries. With frictions in the market often generated by institutional barriers and self re-enforced behaviors, the role of policies and programs is important in correcting this market failure. This is the motivation that drives my work as an economist. My research portfolio tackles this issue utilizing both microdata and experimental data collected in the lab.

I have a MA in Economics from The University of Alabama, a MSc in Economics from the University of the West Indies, and a BSc in Economics and Statistics from the University of the West Indies. Before beginning my PhD, I was a Policy Analyst/Economist in poverty and inequality at the Planning Institute of Jamaica. In my spare time I like to explore new places and take pictures of nature.



CV (pdf)