Chris Udry

Chris Udry is a Lead Academic for IGC Ghana.

Chris is Robert E. and Emily King Professor of Economics at Northwestern University. He was previously Professor of Economics at Yale University. He is a development economist whose research focuses on rural economic activity in sub-Saharan Africa. He has conducted extensive field research in West Africa on technological change in agriculture, the use of financial markets, asset accumulation and gift exchange to cope with risk, gender relations and the structure of household economies, property rights and a variety of other aspects of rural economic organization. He spent two years as a secondary school teacher in northern Ghana, and has been a visiting scholar at Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria and at the University of Ghana at Legon. At Yale, Udry directed the Economic Growth Center and served as the Chair of the Department of Economics. He also previously served as IGC Research Programme Director for Firms.

Content by Chris Udry
  • Project

    Transforming agriculture through innovations in output markets in Ghana

    This research project seeks to understand how improved markets for commodities can transform the agricultural value chain from farmers and farming systems to firms and purchasing and planning systems. Firms operating in environments with erratic supplies of agricultural commodities face high implicit transaction costs in operations. Firms that use commodities as inputs also...

    14 Jul 2021 | Yaw Nyarko, Lauren Falcao Bergquist, Lorenzo Casaburi, Chris Udry

  • Project

    Cash and compliance with social distancing: Experimental evidence from Ghana

    Due to high population density, difficulty in enforcing compliance with social distancing and self-isolation, and economic vulnerability, the COVID-19 pandemic may be especially devastating for households in African countries. This project aims to understand the role that cash transfers can play as a policy tool both to increase household resilience during the pandemic...

    14 Jul 2021 | Chris Udry, Matt Lowe, Dean Karlan

  • Blog post

    Cash transfers as COVID-19 relief: Evidence from Ghana

    Well-targeted mobile money transfer programmes can be an effective policy tool to smooth consumption during pandemics, especially among the neediest populations. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected economic activity and imperilled the livelihoods of people across the globe. Its effects on the poor in developing countries has been particularly severe, as these citizens are...

    7 Jun 2021 | Dean Karlan, Matt Lowe, Robert Darko Osei, Isaac Osei-Akoto, Ben Roth, Chris Udry

  • Project

    Ghana ultra-poor employment study

    This research provided new evidence that the rural poor are both willing and able to participate in paid labor, suggesting a high demand for employment programs. Employment programs and financial services may be more effective when implemented together. Anti-poverty programs that improve the mental and physical wellbeing of the poor may also improve...

    10 Oct 2014 | Dean Karlan, Abhijit Banerjee, Bram Thuysbert, Chris Udry

  • Publication - Evidence Paper

    IGC Evidence Paper - Firms

    The IGC Firm Capabilities Research Programme pulls economists with a common interest in firm capabilities together to focus on three core questions: (i) what are the key proximate determinants of firm productivity? (ii) Where does the productive capacity of firms originate? (iii) What are the barriers that prevent resources from moving from unproductive firms and...

    2 Sep 2014 | Nick Bloom, Greg Fischer, Imran Rasul, Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, Tavneet Suri, Chris Udry, Eric Verhoogen, Christopher Woodruff, Giulia Zane

  • Multimedia Item - Video

    Video: Africa Growth Forum 2014 - Chris Udry

    28 Aug 2014

  • Blog post

    Can easier access to credit help lift Ghanaian farmers out of poverty?

    Agriculture in Ghana makes up 40% of the country’s GDP and the sector employs about 55% of the working population. However, despite their contribution of agriculture to the national economy, food crop farmers suffer from some of the highest rates of poverty. For most, farming provides a subsistence existence and is hard toil – undertaken with traditional tools such...

    6 Dec 2013 | Chris Udry

  • Publication - Working Paper

    Employing the Ultra-Poor in Ghana: Investigating Rural Labor Markets

    15 Dec 2012 | Dean Karlan, Abhijit Banerjee, Bram Thuysbert, Chris Udry

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Employing the Ultra-Poor in Ghana: Investigating Rural Labor Markets (Policy Brief)

    1 Dec 2012 | Dean Karlan, Abhijit Banerjee, Chris Udry, Bram Thuysbert, Robert Darko Osei

  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Agricultural Decisions after Relaxing Credit and Risk Constraints (Policy Brief)

    1 Sep 2012 | Dean Karlan, Robert Darko Osei, Isaac Osei-Akoto, Chris Udry

  • Publication - Working Paper

    Agricultural Decisions after Relaxing Credit and Risk Constraints (Working Paper)

    1 Sep 2012 | Dean Karlan, Robert Darko Osei, Isaac Osei-Akoto, Chris Udry

  • Publication - Working Paper

    The Role of Middlemen in Marketing and Credit Outcomes in Ghana (Working Paper)

    1 Mar 2012 | Peter Quartey, Chris Udry, Seidu Al-Hassan, Hellen Adzo Seshie

  • Project

    Agricultural Financing and Credit Constraints: The Role of Middlemen in Marketing and Credit Outcomes in Ghana

    Agriculture is the main stay in many African countries and the majority are subsistence farmers with low income. Similarly, the poor in Ghana are mostly found in rural areas and agriculture forms the mainstay of these economic agents. Despite the contribution of agriculture to the national economy, the incidence of poverty is reported to be highest amongst food crop...

    1 Oct 2010 | Peter Quartey, Seidu Al-Hassan, Hellen Adzo Seshie, Chris Udry

  • Project

    Examining the Underinvestment in Agriculture: Capital Constraints and Risk

    Research on the returns to capital in developing countries reveals that the potential for farmers to take on profitable investments may be very high. This research project seeks to understand why farmers do not invest more in potentially profitable farming activities: are risk aversion and/or capital constraints important reasons for this underinvestment in agriculture? And...

    1 Sep 2009 | Chris Udry, Ernest Aryeetey, Dean Karlan, Isaac Osei-Akoto, Robert Darko Osei