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Michael Callen

Michael Callen is an assistant professor of economics and strategic management at the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego. His research uses experiments to identify ways to address accountability and service delivery failures in the public sector, working primarily in Afghanistan and in Pakistan. 

Before coming to the Rady School, Callen was an assistant professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and an assistant professor of political science at UCLA. As a post doc, Callen was a visiting faculty member at the UC Berkeley Center for Effective Global Action and the UC San Diego Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.

Callen earned his PhD in economics from UC San Diego and his BSc in econometrics and mathematical economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

  • Political economy
  • Development economics
  • Experimental economics

Blumenstock, Joshua E., Michael Callen, M., Tarek Ghani, and Lucas  Koepke. 2015. Promises and Pitfalls of Mobile Money in Afghanistan: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial. In Proceedings of the Fifth ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development, ICTD 2015. Association for Computing Machinery.

Callen, Michael. 2015. Catastrophes and Time Preference: Evidence from the Indian Ocean Earthquake. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 118:199214.

Callen, Michael, Joshua Blumenstock, and Tarek Ghani. 2018. Why Do Defaults Affect Behavior? Experimental Evidence from Afghanistan. American Economic Review 108 (10): 2868–2901.

Callen, Michael, Luke N. Condra, Radha Iyengar, James D. Long, and Jacob N. Shapiro. 2019. Damaging Democracy? Security Provision and Turnout in Afghan Elections. Economics and Politics, 1–31.

Callen, Michael, Clark Gibson, Danielle F. Jung, and James D. Long. 2016. Improving Electoral Integrity with Information and Communications Technology. Journal of Experimental Political Science 3 (1):4–17.

Callen, Michael, Jean Imbs, and Paolo Mauro. 2015. Pooling Risk Among Countries. Journal of International Economics 96 (1): 8899.

Callen, Michael, Mohammad Isaqzadeh, James D. Long, and Charles Sprenger. 2014. Violence and Risk Preference: Experimental Evidence from Afghanistan. American Economic Review 104 (1): 123–48. DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.1.123.

Callen, Michael, and James D. Long. 2015. Institutional Corruption and Election Fraud: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan. American Economic Review 105 (1): 35481. DOI: 10.1257/aer.20120427.

Weidmann, Nils B., and Michael Callen. 2013. Violence, Control, and Election Fraud: Evidence from Afghanistan. British Journal of Political Science 43 (1): 5375. DOI: 10.1017/S0007123412000191.