Affiliated Researcher

Dean Spears

Dean Spears

Assistant Professor, Economics

I am Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Texas at Austin and Executive Director at Research Institute for Compassionate Economics. I am also visiting economist at Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi Centre, Research Fellow at IZA, Institute of Labor Economics and at Population Research Center, UT-Austin.

I am an economic demographer and development economist. My research areas include the health, growth, and survival of children, especially in India; the environment, air pollution, and climate change; and population dimensions of social well-being.

Three recently published works:

  • Coffey, D. and Spears, D., 2017. Where India goes: Abandoned Toilets, Stunted Development and the Costs of Caste. Harper Collins.

  • Geruso, M. and Spears, D., 2018. Neighborhood sanitation and infant mortality. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 10(2), pp.125-62.

  • Scovronick, N., Budolfson, M.B., Dennig, F., Fleurbaey, M., Siebert, A., Socolow, R.H., Spears, D. and Wagner, F., 2017. Impact of population growth and population ethics on climate change mitigation policy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(46), pp.12338-12343.

Three frequently cited works:

  • Spears, D. 2018. Exposure to open defecation can account for the Indian enigma of child height. Journal of Development Economics. (World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 6351).

  • Hammer, J. and Spears, D., 2016. Village sanitation and child health: effects and external validity in a randomized field experiment in rural India. Journal of Health Economics48, pp.135-148.

  • Duh, J. and Spears, D., 2017. Health and hunger: Disease, energy needs, and the Indian calorie consumption puzzle. The Economic Journal127(606), pp.2378-2409.