Professor Una Okonkwo Osili

Ph.D., Economics, Northwestern University,1999
A.B.,Harvard/Radcliffe Colleges,1994
Curriculum Vitae

Office: CA 527
Phone: 317.278.7219

Professor Una Okonkwo Osili’s research lies within the field of development economics. In particular, she studies how households in developing countries make economic decisions where incomes are low and variable, and especially in the presence of market imperfections. Households rely on family members and community resources to deal with adverse economic circumstances which may include unemployment, ill health, crop loss and bad weather. In most cases, formal markets that provide credit and insurance are not well developed. Furthermore, government programs that can provide aid to households tend to be limited in scope.

Migration - the relocation of one or more family members - can expand the resources available to households and provide some protection against location-specific shocks. In her research, Professor Osili has collected and analyzed data in Nigeria and the United States on the transfers that immigrants send to their home families.

Can communities generate the resources to enable development? Currently, Professor Osili is studying the private income contributions and institutions using data from Indonesia. She plans to examine transfers to community-level institutions in other parts of the developing world and the role that community groups can play in the process of economic development.

Selected Publications:  
  • "Do Immigrants and Their Children Free Ride More Than Natives" joint with Xia Jie, American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings 2009, Vol. 99(2): 28-34
  • "What Can We Learn About Financial Access From U.S. Immigrants," joint with Anna Paulson. World Bank Economic Review, 2010. Vol. 23(3): 963-987.
  • "Giving to Family versus Giving to the Community Within and Across Generations," joint with Partha Deb and Cagla Okten. Journal of Population Economics, Forthcoming.
  • "Institutions And Financial Development: Evidence from International Migrants in the United States," joint with Anna Paulson, August 2008. Review of Economics and Statistics. 90(3): 498-512.
  • "Does Female Schooling Reduce Fertility? Evidence from Nigeria," joint with Bridget Terry Long. August 2008. Journal of Development Economics. 87(1): 57-75.
  • "Remittances and savings from international migration: Theory and evidence using a matched sample," July 2007. Journal of Development Economics. 83(2): 446-465.
  • "Immigrants’ Access to Financial Services and Asset Accumulation," in Access, Assets, and Poverty, ed. by Rebecca Blank and Michael Barr, Forthcoming.
  • "Universal Education and Socio-Economic Outcomes in Nigeria," in Firms, Households, Government and Growth in Nigeria: Towards Evidence-Based Policy-Making, ed. by Paul Collier and Cathy Patillo, World Bank, Forthcoming.
  • "Social Networks and Credit Access in Indonesia," World Development, Vol. 13, number 7, July 2004, pp. 1225-1246.
  • "Migrants and Housing Investments: Theory and Evidence from Nigeria." July 2004. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 52(4): 821-849.
  • "Contributions in Heterogeneous Communities: Evidence from Indonesia," Volume 17, Number 4 / December, 2004 (joint with Cagla Okten)
  • "Devaluation and Investing at Home: Migrants and Housing Investments: The Case of Nigerian Emigrants in Chicago" in Guyer, J. and LaRay Denzer and Adigun Agbaje. (eds.), Money, Struggles and City Life: Devaluation in Ibadan and Other Urban Centers in Southern Nigeria, Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2002.