The Program on Justice, Welfare, and Economics at Harvard University has announced its graduate student fellowship recipients for 2003-04. This interdisciplinary initiative promotes research that connects freedom, justice, and economics to human welfare and development. Dissertation fellowships and research grants seek to develop a new generation of scholars whose work encompasses ethical, political, and economic dimensions of human development.

The fellows were selected by a faculty committee including Martha Minow and Thomas Scanlon (co-chairs), and Professors Jorge I. Domínguez, Benjamin Friedman, Michael Kremer, Jane Mansbridge, Frank Michelman, Dennis Thompson, and Richard Tuck. The Program is housed at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

The 2003-04 dissertation fellowship recipients follow:

Yael Aridor Bar-Ilan, an S.J.D. candidate at the Law School, will study the challenges underlying the advancement of change through law and their relation to the dilemma of the ex post and the ex ante conflicting concepts of justice.

David Evans, a Ph.D. candidate in economics, will examine the ramifications of parent death on children’s education and well-being in Kenya. Specifically, Evans will look at how orphans arrive at the households that foster them, how they are treated there, and how these factors affect their educational attainment.

Bryan Graham, a Ph.D. candidate in economics, will identify and assess the significance of social interactions in explaining variations in a wide range of socioeconomic outcomes (e.g., wages, crime, etc.), focusing on the relationship between “peer group effects” and black-white differences in academic achievement.

Daniel Ho, a J.D./Ph.D. candidate in law and government, will study comparative and international political economy, financial regulation, and empirical methodology.

Louis-Philippe Hodgson, a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy, will apply Kantian social contract theory to questions of international justice, and in particular to questions concerning the institutions that are required for a just international order.

Klemen Jaklic, an S.J.D. candidate at the Law School, will conduct a “Constitutional Project for Europe” by mapping European constitutional thought; examining new constitutionalism and the rising transnational constitutional theory; and looking at the role and powers of the constitutional judiciary within the framework of the future European Constitution.

Karthik Muralidharan, a Ph.D. candidate in economics, will conduct a study to measure, characterize, and explain teacher absenteeism across more than 20 states in India. Muraldiharan hopes to build on these empirical findings and ask the broader political economy question of how such a poorly functioning system came into existence, how the “low-level equilibrium” is sustained, and why there aren’t enough political incentives in a democracy to resolve this fundamental problem.

Benjamin Olken, a Ph.D. candidate in economics, will study the political economy of community-based development in Indonesia.

Martin O’Neill, a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy, will examine “Fairness, Freedom and Responsibility: From Agency to Egalitarianism.” Specifically, O’Neill will look at the ideas of responsibility involved in the criteria of distributive justice, and the kind of freedom that is required in order for someone to be responsible in the relevant sense.

The 2003-04 research grant recipients follow:

Andreea Balan, a Ph.D. candidate in economics, will look at the effects of Romanian educational reform on the extent of corruption and the impact on the equity of the admission process.

Jonathan Rotter, a J.D. candidate at the Law School, will examine jury decision making in the context of explicit efficiency analysis undertaken by a corporate defendant.

Carrie Thiessen, a Ph.D. candidate in health policy, will study the extent to which clinical trials incorporate community benefits in developing countries and their impact on the health of communities in developing countries.