Saika Belal

Saika Belal

WAPPP Fellow
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Berkeley
Saika Belal
Saika Belal is a Ph.D. Candidate in the department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Berkeley. Her research focuses on topics in labor, behavioral and development economics with a particular emphasis on value of time, time scarcity, and labor market decisions. She frequently combines behavioral economics theory with field-based insights to study whether decision-making by workers changes systematically over time, and in response to scarcity. Her main research project focuses on developing a new measure of value of time, which uses real economic incentives to study longitudinal trends in how different people value their time. This study was motivated by the lack of understanding of time scarcity and volatility, especially for women and others in low paying jobs, whose unpaid work burdens were high and whose labor market wages (which is the standard proxy for value of time) provide a vastly incomplete indicator of their true value of time. Given the centrality of time to all decision-making, understanding the value placed in different uses of time (for example, paid work time, leisure, etc.) can reveal hard-to-observe inequalities based on gender, race, etc. She has published with IFPRI on labor market trends in Bangladesh. She has worked with the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab on several projects on transportation, policy and behavior. She has also worked with the World Bank on poverty targeting for cash transfers using machine learning. She has led field-based research projects in Bangladesh, Kenya, and Myanmar. She is the recipient of a Chancellor’s Fellowship at UC Berkeley and her research has been supported by several competitive grants.