Dmitri Koustas, Eyal Frank, Fiona Burlig and Sam Norris join Harris' community of scholars.

Harris Public Policy welcomes four new tenure-track faculty members for the current academic year. The additions of assistant professors Dmitri Koustas, Eyal Frank, Fiona Burlig and Sam Norris deepen Harris’ expertise in macroeconomics, environmental economics and criminal justice. 

“We are thrilled to welcome such distinguished young scholars to Harris,” said Katherine Baicker, Dean and Emmett Dedmon Professor, Harris Public Policy. “Dmitri, Eyal, Fiona and Sam all bring impressive research portfolios and a commitment to advancing policy in their respective focus areas. They enhance Harris’ expertise in fields where we are committed to building a critical mass of scholars, and they will engage and inspire students in their classrooms.”  

The new additions boost the school’s total tenured, tenure-track and joint faculty to 49, up from 33 four years ago.   Since 2015, Harris has welcomed faculty who have expanded the school’s focus and commitment to areas such as conflict, energy and environment, and data science.   

More about Harris’ new faculty for the current academic year follows:   

Fiona Burlig, Assistant Professor

Fiona Burlig

Fiona Burlig studies energy and environmental economics, with a focus on the developing world, which is at the forefront of pressing global energy issues. Burlig’s ongoing work examines the impacts of rural electrification on economic development, the economic consequences of power outages, and the relationship between power market design and rolling blackouts. Her research develops and uses new empirical methods, including applying machine learning to quantify the effectiveness of energy efficiency upgrades in K-12 schools in California, and generating new techniques for experimental design in multi-wave randomized controlled trials. 

Burlig holds a Ph.D. and an MS in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA in economics, political science, and German from Williams College.  She joins Harris after a year as a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Economics and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC). Burlig is slated to teach Program Evaluation in the spring quarter.

Eyal Frank, Assistant Professor  

Eyal Frank

Eyal Frank’s research is focused on environmental economics, studying the dynamics between economic activities and biodiversity losses, and the effects that has on health, trade and labor markets. Frank’s work more specifically examines how preservation of natural predators can reduce our use of pesticides and their adverse impacts on infant mortality, how information about the perceived rarity of endangered species plays a role in wildlife trade markets, and the costs of conservation policies as reflected in job losses and changes to property values. 

Frank earned his Ph.D. in sustainable development from Columbia University. He also has a master’s in economics and bachelor’s degrees in economics and environmental sciences from Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  Eyal Frank comes to Harris after working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.  He is teaching Statistics for Data Analysis I and a Lessons from Policies that Went Wrong course, both in the fall quarter.  He is also receiving an appointment at EPIC.

Dmitri Koustas, Assistant Professor  

Dmitri Koustas

Dmitri Koustas’ research covers a variety of topics in labor economics, macroeconomics and household finance.  One important strand of his research focuses on understanding why Americans participate in alternative work arrangements like the gig economy and ridesharing.  He pioneers new datasets, including micro-transactions from an online personal financial aggregator and bill-paying application, IRS tax returns, and direct partnerships with technology companies. 

He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley in 2018.  He has a master’s in economic history from the University of Cambridge and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in industrial and labor relations. He has also worked as a research assistant at the Brookings Institution.  He will be teaching a series of Household Finance courses in the spring quarter.  

Sam Norris, Assistant Professor

Sam Norris

Sam Norris studies the justice system. His research focuses on how the justice system makes decisions – for example, how to measure judicial quality, and how judges improve with experience – and the effects of incarceration and other punishments on defendants, their families and communities. 

He holds a BA from Simon Fraser University, an MA from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, all in economics. He worked at Harvard Kennedy School from 2012 to 2013 before starting his Ph.D. His work has been supported by the National Institutes of Justice and the National Science Foundation.  He will be teaching Statistics for Data Analysis in the winter.