Bruce Wydick

Bruce Wydick
University of San Francisco

Bruce Wydick is a professor of economics and international studies at the University of San Francisco, where he has been since finishing his Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. He is also an affiliated researcher at the Kellogg Institute of International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. His research interests lie in the use of econometric, experimental, and game-theoretic tools to analyze the impact of development programs, especially in the areas of credit, education, and health. Some of his recent work examines the impacts of international child sponsorship (six countries), microfinance (Nepal), in-kind donations such as farm animals (Rwanda), wheelchairs for the disabled (Ethiopia), TOMS shoe donation (El Salvador), and clean-burning wood stoves (Guatemala). He is also interested in the role that hope, aspirations, perseverance, and other character traits play in escaping poverty traps.

He is also a writer for Christianity Today and tries to be a semi-regular contributor to op-ed columns for San Francisco Bay Area newspapers. His first book Games In Economic Development is published by Cambridge University Press, and his recent economics novel, The Taste of Many Mountains, about a group of graduate students investigating fair trade coffee in Guatemala, is published by Thomas Nelson (HarperCollins). He also serves as one of the co-leaders of Mayan Partners, a small faith-based non-profit organization working in the western highlands of Guatemala, and as faculty advisor for the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at USF.

Articles by Bruce Wydick

  • Bruce Wydick

    NexThought Monday: Would You Give Up Your Cellphone to Save a Child?

    Last fall, University of San Francisco professor Bruce Wydick presented his students with a confounding challenge: If everybody in the classroom were to make a $50 direct cash transfer, he said, they could potentially save a poor Ugandan child's life. In fact, he added, a donor had pledged to give $50 through GiveDirectly for every student, on one simple condition: They had to part with their cell phones for two weeks. Wydick describes the fallout in this thought-provoking post.

    academia, cash transfers, poverty alleviation
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