Kate Orkin

Kate Orkin is a Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, as well as a DPhil candidate in Development Studies, supervised by Professor Stefan Dercon and Dr Laura Camfield. Her doctoral research is in the economics and political economy of primary education. She examines the effects of three education policy initiatives – prohibitions on grade repetition, full day (rather than half day) schooling and mother tongue instruction – on school participation and achievement. She also examines how local political dynamics affect the implementation of reforms. Kate holds an MPhil in Development Studies from Oxford, where she was a South-African Rhodes Scholar, and a BSocSci (Hons) Economics from the University of Cape Town. She is a Student Associate at Young Lives, a longitudinal household-based survey of children in four countries, where she was part of the team which designed a survey of schools attended by Young Lives children in Ethiopia. She has worked for the World Bank Development Research Group and on a CSAE-iiG-IFPRI evaluation of an intervention to improve aspirations.

Research Grant Projects

This work will shed light on how much employers value cognitive (e.g. IQ) and non-cognitive (e.g. motivation, perseverance etc.) skills and the extent to which these skills are predictive of future productivity.
As a lack of information on worker and jobseeker skills may contribute to low firm productivity, this study aims to directly measure the consequences of improving information to employers about potential workers through twin randomized controlled trials. 
This project tests the feasibility and effectiveness of using mobile phones to collect accurate high-frequency data on microenterprise profits and sales relative to conventional face-to-face data collection methods.