Amanda Pallais joined the Harvard faculty as an Assistant Professor of Economics and Social Studies in July 2011. A labor economist, her research studies the barriers preventing workers from achieving efficient employment outcomes and students from optimally investing in human capital.
Her research has explored the extent to which the cost of developing a reputation acts as a barrier preventing workers from entering the labor market and how giving workers the opportunity to demonstrate their skills benefits them and allows labor markets to operate more efficiently. She has analyzed how small changes in college application fees can dramatically affect the college application choices of low-SES students and how motivating high school students with merit scholarships for college can substantially improve their high school performance. Currently, she is working on a large field experiment in France analyzing the possible effects of discrimination on the job performance of women and minorities and a field experiment in Nebraska evaluating whether college scholarships can increase college matriculation and improve the job prospects of low-income students. Dr. Pallais received her B.A. in Economics and Mathematics from the University of Virginia in 2006 and her Ph.D. in Economics from MIT in 2011.