Isabelle Cohen

Assistant Professor

Isabelle Cohen joined the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance in 2021. Her research focuses on innovations and their potential to change the implementation of governmental and non-governmental activities and services in developing countries, using large-scale randomized control trials to rigorously evaluate new technologies and organizational methods. Her work also touches on many other important issues, including state capacity, taxation, education, financial inclusion, health services, and women’s empowerment. She has done research in a variety of countries, including Uganda, India, Peru, and Greece. She is an affiliate at the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology at UW, and the Center for Effective Global Action at UC Berkeley, as well as an invited researcher at J-PAL Africa’s Digital Identification and Finance initiative.

Isabelle holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.P.P. from the College of William & Mary, and a B.A. in International Relations from the College of William & Mary. Prior to beginning her doctorate, Isabelle worked as a Research Manager at the Centre for Microfinance at IFMR Lead in Tamil Nadu, India.

Walcott, Cohen and Ferris. 2023. “When who matters: interviewer effects and survey modality.” Evaluation Review.

Cohen. 2023. “Crowd in or crowd out? The subnational fiscal response to aid.” World Development, 164: 106180.

Carlson et al. 2022. “How Do Disadvantaged Groups Seek Information about Free Services? A Randomized Control Trial of Alternative Communication Technologies.” Public Administration Review, 82(4).

Chong et al. 2016. “Iron Deficiency and Schooling Attainment in Peru.” American Economic Journal – Applied Economics, 8(4).

Cohen, Isabelle. 2023. “Pathways to Choice: Delaying Marriage and Increasing Education via Safe Spaces.” (Draft available on request)

Cohen, Isabelle. 2022. “Low-Cost Tax Capacity: A Randomized Evaluation with the Uganda Revenue Authority.” (Draft available on request)

Selected Research in Progress

Cohen, Isabelle and Emma Riley. 2023. “The demand for digital identification amongst small enterprise owners in Uganda” (Project ongoing)

Cohen, Isabelle and Denise Ferris. 2021. “Take Up and Impact of Digital Repayment in Microfinance.” (Project ongoing, Pre-trial registration)

Cohen et al. 2021. “Teacher Rotation and Student Outcomes: Experimental Evidence from Uganda.” (Project ongoing, Pre-trial registration)

Research & News Highlights