Research/Areas of Interest:

Development Economics, Applied Microeconomics


  • PhD Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, United States, 2010
  • MSc Global Market Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom, 2005
  • BS Mathematics-Economics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, United States, 2003


Cynthia Kinnan received her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Tufts, she taught at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on how households and small firms in developing countries use financial products (such as credit, insurance, savings) and informal networks to finance investment and cope with risk. She is particularly interested in the causes of missing markets, in the interaction between risk and household investment, in social networks, and in microfinance. Her work draws on randomized control trials, natural experiments, and estimating equilibrium relationships implied by theory. She is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and an affiliate of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL) and the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD).