Associate Chair, Director of MA Program, Research Professor
Department of Economics, Duke University
Professor Becker joined the Duke faculty in 2003, where he directed the American Economic Association's Summer Program and Minority Scholarship Program (2003-2007). He previously directed this program at the University of Colorado at Denver, where he taught from 1999-2003. Becker earned his PhD in Economics at Princeton University (1981) and was an undergraduate at Grinnell College (BA, Economics and Russian language, 1976). He previously taught at Vanderbilt University and at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he directed the Economics Institute from 1990-96. In 1998-99, Becker served as Team Leader for the Asian Development Bank's pension reform project in Kyrgyzstan; from 1999-2006 he served as an advisor to the Kazakhstan government on its pension reform program.
Becker's research interests include social security system forecasting, the economics of transition, economic demography, and urban and real estate economics. He has written books on social security reform in Kazakhstan, urbanization in India and, separately, in sub-Saharan Africa, the impact of sanctions in South Africa and neighboring countries, and a computable general equilibrium simulation model of India. Ongoing projects include:
• Trailer park economics;
• Estimation of infant mortality underreporting in middle income and developing countries;
• Migration and demographic change in the former USSR, accidental death and disability in middle-income countries;
• Modeling and estimating the long-run consequences of different types of violent conflict, using data from Bosnia and Herzegovina;
• Economic models of bride kidnapping in the Kyrgyz Republic and econometric estimation of the long-run consequences;
• Suburbanization and urban structural change in transition economies;
• Progression to and performance in Economics doctoral programs by minority students.