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Pia Malaney


Dr. Pia Malaney’s research has focused on economic, biological, and sociological approaches to human welfare. Her dissertation written under Eric Maskin, established a new Gauge Theoretic foundation for welfare economics allowing biological and behavioral realism for dynamic economic agents. She has held positions at the Harvard Institute for International Development and the Center for International Development at Harvard’s Kennedy School where she worked in collaboration with Asian and African governments of the development of health care and economic policies. Dr. Malaney’s current research focus is the role of scientific realism in the foundations of economic theory and its expected effects on the economics of development, education, gender, and welfare. She received her BA from Wellesley College and her PhD from Harvard University.

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Mortality Crisis Redux: The Economics of Despair

Article | Mar 27, 2017

The health crisis afflicting working-class Americans recalls similar symptoms in Russia following the collapse of communism

Featuring this expert

The Economic Origins of the Populist Backlash

Video | Mar 7, 2017

Institute Senior Economist Pia Malaney sees the election of Donald Trump as a message from the Rust Belt signaling a systemic failure in US political economy 

Is Technology Killing Capitalism?

Video | Aug 17, 2016

Is Market Capitalism simply an accident of certain factors that came together in the 19th and 20th centuries? Does the innovation of economics require a new economics of innovation? Is the study of economics deeply affected by the incentive structures faced by economists themselves, necessitating a study of the “economics of economics”?

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie?

Video | May 4, 2016

McCloskey discusses the thesis of her recent trilogy, The Bourgeois Era, which holds that the driving force of economic growth in 17th and 18th century Europe was simply liberal ideas.

Equity and Growth Through Knowledge Based Economies

Video | Apr 26, 2016

Benner’s recent work with Manuel Pastor suggests the somewhat counterintuitive result that geographic regions with the most equitable distributions of wealth and influence also tend to have the highest growth.