by Yasuka Tateishi
It was in May 2019 that I graduated from Yale University, and I recall the days in New Haven with great memories. I successfully completed the coursework and received an MA in International and Development Economics, but I cannot emphasize further how invaluable my experiences were above and beyond this degree. It is all thanks to the generous support from Ito Foundation USA and Friends of UTokyo that I was able to make the most of my graduate study.
My research interest lies at the intersection of political science and economics. In particular, I am interested in uncovering the economic origins and consequences of civil wars in developing countries. After majoring in international relations as an undergraduate at the University of Tokyo, I obtained a master’s degree in development studies at the London School of Economics (LSE). Yet, I strongly felt the necessity in developing my skills in economics in order to better address the topic of my interest. This was how I became determined to pursue a second master’s degree in economics at Yale University and this scholarship helped me to undertake this endeavor.
At Yale, I immersed myself in the coursework in economics and mathematics. I particularly enjoyed a course called “Economic Analysis of Conflict,” which exactly dealt with the subject I was interested in. The professor in charge was one of the few scholars who specializes in this research field, and I appreciate the opportunity for enrolling in his course. As a summary of the study, I wrote a paper that examined the causal effect of price shock on conflict events in Yemen. I did a presentation about this paper at the Japanese Association of Development Economics (JADE) last summer and the feedback and comments from Japanese scholars motivated me to further pursue this topic. I am now revising this paper to aim for publication in the near future.
I also worked as a research assistant at Yale for a comparative project of gender and labor economics in Japan, the US, and Sweden. I assisted in launching original surveys and conducted analytical works for Japanese data. Through this experience, I was able to gain valuable insight into how professional research is designed and produced from its inception. We have recently published a journal article for this project, and I am honored to have been credited as a co-author. (https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/full/10.1162/daed_a_01781).
After graduating from Yale, I started working as a consultant at the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC. My role is to conduct the poverty assessment of Guinea with household survey data, and I am taking the advantage of the analytical skills in economics I obtained at Yale. I am also enjoying the opportunities to use French that I intensively learned at college. It is challenging but extremely exciting to work here, as I had been pursuing a career of working for francophone African countries in international organizations. I could not have chosen this path without my experience at Yale. Moreover, some of my classmates from Yale are working in DC, including the World Bank, and it is my greatest pleasure to work alongside them here. Their passion towards international development is as great as mine, and they always inspire me with their knowledge and perspectives.
Once again, I am grateful for the support from the scholarship that enabled me to take this path. Thank you very much.