Meet the Cluster Community: Viola Asri

1. Why are you studying inequality?

To contribute with scientific evidence to improving the living conditions and opportunities of people. I am particularly interested in understanding how different types of economic or social deprivation can be mitigated specifically in developing countries.

2. What are you working on?

My current projects focus on contributing to the understanding of improving the implementation of social policies such as social pensions for elderly poor in Bangladesh and reducing the gender-based inequality in India with women taking up important roles leading potentially to a change in the rigid gender norms.  

3. How did you end up here?

 At the beginning of my PhD, I started conceptualizing a large-scale field experiment in Bangladesh. Later Sebastian Fehrler (earlier University of Konstanz, now University of Bremen) and Urs Fischbacher joined the project. Thanks to the seed funding from the Cluster, I could start working here as a PostDoc focusing on that project in Bangladesh and we were able to run the field experiment from 2019 to 2021. We are currently writing the paper on the results.

4. Recent highlight?

The opportunity to carry out a new large-scale field experiment on female empowerment in India.

Dr. Viola Asri is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Economics at the University of Konstanz and at the Thurgau Institute of Economics (TWI). She is also a PI at the Cluster of Excellence "The Politics of Inequality" where she leads the two projects "­Increasing State Capacity and Accountability to Improve Local Governance: Evidence for the Targeting of Social Pensions in Bangladesh" and "Agents of Social Change? The Intangible Benefits of Female Social Entrepreneurs". Her research interests include development and behavioral economics as well as applied microeconomics.