Associate Professor of Public Policy and Economics

(Virginia University, USA)


Isaac M. Mbiti is Associate Professor of Public Policy and Economics in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Previously, Mbiti was Assistant Professor of Economics at Southern Methodist University and also Martin Luther King Visiting Assistant Professor at MIT. His research has focused largely on African economic development with a particular interest in examining the role of educational policies such as free primary education and pay-for-performance teacher programs, as well as the potential of new technologies (especially mobile phones) to stimulate the development process. His ongoing research projects in East and West Africa assess various policies aimed at improving the livelihoods of African youth through training programmes.

His research has been supported by numerous agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the International Impact Evaluation Initiative, USAID and the World Bank. He is a research affiliate of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at MIT and was previously selected as a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. His publications have appeared in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Economic Perspectives, the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, and the Journal of African Economies. He has also authored several policy reports for the Kenyan government, the World Bank and NGOs such as the International Rescue Committee. He received his PhD in economics from Brown University.