About Us

The Challenge

Across the world, more than a billion people live on less than $2.50 per day. 900 million people are hungry. 500 million people work as subsistence farmers, working less than two hectares of land, to feed themselves and their families. Nearly 200 million people may, in the coming years, be forced to migrate due to climate change. For individuals facing these conditions, life is inherently risky, increasingly so in the rapidly changing world which we all inhabit.

These facts and conditions underlie the grand challenges which the AIDE Lab seeks to investigate, study, and understand. The core research of the Lab focuses on the economic and environmental challenges which face individuals and households across the globe, working to address challenges of hunger, poverty, and inequality.

The AIDE Lab

The AIDE Lab brings together researchers, thinkers, and learners from the University of Arizona, to foster a community of study on economic topics in applied international development. In our work, we have ongoing projects with the World Bank, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Bioversity International, and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), as well as with researchers at universities, including Purdue University, Tufts University, UC Davis, University of Illinois, University of the Philippines Los Baños, and University of Sydney. We are also affiliated with several research for development (R4D) networks, including the Arizona Institutes for Resilience (AIR) International Programs and the Humanitarian Assistance Technical Support (HATS) Network.

The AIDE Lab is committed to replicability, reproducibility, and transparency in research and to principles of Open Science. Members collaborate with the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) to ensure adherence to best practices in this area. To this end, most of our code is available on GitHub.

The Lab is always recruiting M.S. Graduate and Undergraduate Research Assistants interested in working on issues of food security, agriculture, and shocks, particular those with expertise in statistical analysis and programming (e.g. Stata, Python, R). We are committed to training and mentoring the next generation or researchers. Part of this commit is our partnership with the University of Arizona's Vertically Integrated Projects (VIPs), a transformative approach to enhancing higher education by engaging undergraduate and graduate students in ambitious, long-term, large-scale, multidisciplinary project teams.

Who We Are

The AIDE Lab is a collaborative effort run by Drs. Anna Josephson and Jeffrey Michler.

Anna and Jeff met at Purdue University during their graduate studies in 2011. They were married in 2013, wrote their first paper together in 2015, and published it in World Development in 2017.  Jeff conducted his dissertation research in Bangladesh, with IRRI and graduated with his PhD in 2015. The two moved to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in 2015 where Anna conducted her dissertation research and Jeff worked as a Post-Doctoral Fellow for the University of Illinois and ICRISAT. In 2017, Jeff joined the faculty in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Saskatchewan and Anna graduated with her PhD and began consulting for the World Bank.

Anna obtained a faculty position in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Arizona in 2018 and Jeff joined the faculty soon after. Since their time as graduate students, the two have collaborated on research projects that have taken them to Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Zambia. They founded the AIDE Lab in 2020. When not at work, Anna and Jeff enjoy hiking in the desert and mountains around Tucson with their daughters. Their cat, Clementine, prefers to stay at home.