Assistant Professor of Economics

Head shot of TefariI grew up in Ethiopia during a very turbulent time – surrounded by serious economic hardships and socio-political upheaval – which sparked my early interest in development economics, setting me on an improbable journey to pursuing higher education in Economics at Berkeley, where I was fortunate enough to have mentors in the persons of Ronald Lee and David Card – acclaimed scholars in their respective fields. 

Research Interests

My research agenda seeks to empirically identify the causal impacts of various policy interventions and institutions on development, with emphasis on the African continent - a diverse region that is well-suited for such inquiry.  With the appointments at St. Paul's college and the Economics department at UWaterloo - the former being the home of the International Development program at the university – I aim to build a research portfolio that has some relevance to policy making for economic development in low-income regions. My research explores (among other things) the likely consequences of international migration, demographic transition, representative government, and financial deepening on economic development.

Selected Publications:

  1. Is low fertility really a problem? Population aging, dependency, and consumption, Science, 346(6206), 229 – 234, (2014) – With R. Lee, et al.
  2. The effects of international migration on migrant-source households: Evidence from Ethiopian Diversity-Visa lottery migrants, World Development, 84(3), 69-81, (2016).
  3. The impact of Addis Ababa’s expansion on the welfare of the displaced farming communities. In Gabissa, E. (Ed.), Violent Democracy: The Oromo Protest and the Crisis of the Developmental State in Ethiopia (Forthcoming).
  4. US foreign policy and the making of a failing Ethiopian state, Journal of Oromo Studies (Forthcoming).

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University of Waterloo

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