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Duncan Thomas

Professor, Economics and Global Health
Trinity College of Arts and Sciences

(919) 660-1800

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Duncan Thomas


Duncan Thomas joined Duke in 2007 with appointments in the Department of Economics and in the Duke Global Health Institute. His previous appointments include Yale, RAND and UCLA. His work primarily focuses on the behavior of individuals, households and families in very low income settings with particular emphasis on health and human capital of the population. His research explores the dynamics underlying decision-making within families, the motivations for those decisions and their consequences. Recent work has paid special attention to the impact of shocks and disasters on population well-being.



Recent Publications

Adult morality five years after a natural disaster: Evidence from the Indian Ocean Tsunami. Jessica Y. Ho, Elizabeth Frankenberg, Cecep Sumantri and Duncan Thomas. May 2016.

Extended families and child well-being. Dan LaFave and Duncan Thomas. November 2016. Journal of Development Economics, forthcoming.

Height and cognition at work: Labor market productivity in a low income setting. Dan LaFave and Duncan Thomas. October 2016. Economics and Human Biology, forthcoming.

Farms, families and markets: New evidence on completeness of markets in agricultural settings. Dan LaFave and Duncan Thomas. Econometrica, 84.5:1917-60, 2016.

Biological health risks and economic development. Elizabeth Frankenberg Jessica Y. Ho and Duncan Thomas. John Komlos and Inas Rashad Kelly (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Economics and Human Biology, Oxford University Press, 2016.

The evolution of well-being in the aftermath of a disaster: Evidence from Aceh and North Sumatra. Elizabeth Frankenberg Cecep Sumantri and Duncan Thomas. Helen James and Douglas Patton (eds.), The Consequences of Disasters: Demographic, planinng and policy implications, C. C. Thomas, 2016

The demography of disasters. in James D. Wright (ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, North Holland, (with Elizabeth Frankenberg and Maria Marta Laurito), Vol 8, 559-565, 2015, Oxford: Elsevier.

Experimental methods in population studies. in James D. Wright (ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, North Holland, (with Elizabeth Frankenberg), Vol 8, 101-108, 2015, Oxford: Elsevier.

The effects of mortality on fertility: Population dynamics after a natural disaster. Demography, 52:15- 38, 2015, (with Jenna Nobles and Elizabeth Frankenberg). PMCID: 4411230

Africans in the American labor market. Demography, 52:1513-42, 2015, (with Irma Elo, Elizabeth Frankenberg and Romeo Gansey).