Dean Karlan is president of Innovations for Poverty Action, a non-profit organization that creates and evaluates solutions to social and development problems, and works to scale-up successful ideas through implementation and dissemination to policymakers, practitioners, investors and donors. He is a professor of economics at Yale University.
As a social entrepreneur, Karlan is founder and president of stickK.com, a web start-up dedicated to using lessons from behavioral economics to help people reach personal goals, such as weight loss, through commitment contracts.
Karlan received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and was named an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow. His research focuses on microeconomic issues of financial decision-making, specifically employing experimental methodologies to examine what works, what does not, and why in interventions in microfinance, health, behavioral economics and charitable giving. In the area of microfinance, he has studied credit impact, interest rate policy, savings product design, credit scoring policies, entrepreneurship training, and group versus individual liability.
Karlan received a Ph.D. in Economics from M.I.T., an M.B.A. and an M.P.P. from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Virginia.