Laura Schechter: One of “Five Hot Minds in Economics”

Laura Schechter, Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics, was included as one of “Five Hot Minds in Economics” in an article in the fall 2006 edition of the Yale Economic Review.

“To the list of traditional themes in economics — profit, efficiency and competition, among others — Laura Schechter wants to add one more: trust,” begins the article. “But investigating such a subtle subject often requires innovative methods. Just 31 yearls old, [Schechter] sets herself apart with both humanitarian interests and inventive research techniques.”

The article goes on to describe Schechter’s dissertation, “Trust, trustworthiness and Risk in Rural Paraguay.” She earned her Ph.D. in 2001 at the University of California Berkeley.

She did her research in Paraquay because she had done a Peace Corps stint there as an agricultural extension agent. During that time she realized that expectations of theft deterred farmers from investing in more profitable crops.

The Yale Economic Review article can be downloaded from Schechter’s website at

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