Dean Karlan is the Frederic Esser Nemmers Distinguished Professor of Economics and Finance at the Kellogg School of Management, and co-director of the Global Poverty Research Lab at Northwestern University. He is the Founder and President of Innovations for Poverty Action, a non-profit organization dedicated to discovering and promoting solutions to global poverty problems, and working to scale-up successful ideas through implementation and dissemination to policymakers, practitioners, investors and donors. His research focuses on development and behavioral economics, and he is on the Board of Directors of the M.I.T. Jameel Poverty Action Lab. From 2005-2017 he was a professor of economics at Yale University, and from 2002-2005 he was a professor of economics at Princeton University.
As a social entrepreneur, in 2007 Karlan co-founded stickK.com, a website that uses lessons from behavioral economics to help people reach personal goals. In 2015, Karlan co-founded ImpactMatters, a nonprofit dedicated to producing impact audits, which assesses whether an organization uses and produces appropriate evidence of impact.
Karlan received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He was awarded distinguished alumni awards from the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business and the Duke University Talent Identification Program.
In 2011 he co-authored More Than Good Intentions: How a New Economics is Helping to Solve Global Poverty; in 2013, he co-authored a principles textbook Economics; in 2016, he co-authored Failing in the Field; and, in 2018 he co-authored The Goldilocks Challenge.
He received a Ph.D. in Economics from M.I.T., an M.B.A. and an M.P.P. from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Virginia.