Helene Purcell

Associate Fellow

Helene Purcell, PhD

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Population Studies Center, School of Arts and Sciences

Helene Purcell, PhD is a postdoctoral researcher at the Population Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania working on the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health (MLSFH). Her research focuses on the updating of beliefs and changing behavior in the face of new information and shocks. Her work lies at the intersection of development economics and health and environmental economics, using applied econometric techniques that facilitate causal interpretation. Her current working papers focus on the impact of a 2017 health information intervention on COVID vaccination rates in Malawi, as well as the determinants of vaccination among the rural poor. Her other work includes the impact of early access to cell phone technology in Malawi, human capital accumulation and changing risk preferences in the face of natural disasters in Indonesia, and how personality traits shape labor market outcomes in Indonesia. Dr. Purcell additionally helped lead a 2022 data collection effort in Malawi for the MLSFH, focusing on health, aging, cognition, and well-being among mature adults. Dr. Purcell received her PhD in Economics in 2021 from Fordham University.

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