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Sean Higgins joins Northwestern University as an Assistant Professor

Sean Higgins, a 2016 graduate of Tulane’s doctoral program in economics, was recently hired in a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of Finance at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

Sean Higgins will join Northwestern University as an Assistant Professor

Sean completed a B.S. in Economics in 2011 and a Ph.D. in Economics in 2016, both at Tulane. While an undergraduate, he became interested in development economics, with a focus on Latin America. He studied abroad in Chile and Argentina, and he began working as a research assistant for Professor Nora Lustig. As a doctoral student, Sean spent a year and a half in Mexico funded by a Fulbright Scholarship and a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Grant. He became interested in financial inclusion -- or the impact of access to financial services -- and in his dissertation he studied the effect of providing debit cards tied to bank accounts to beneficiaries of Mexico's main social program. In addition, he worked extensively with Tulane’s Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Institute and was Co-Principal Investigator with Professor Nora Lustig on grants for the CEQ Institute from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and National Science Foundation.
After completing his Ph.D., Sean accepted a position as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. During that time he continued his research in development economics and household finance. He worked on additional projects in Mexico, including a paper on the spillovers of consumers’ adoption of a particular financial technology -- debit cards -- on both the supply and demand sides of the market. In addition, he started new projects in the Dominican Republic, such as an experiment testing whether small businesses provided with a technology to better track their sales and inventory get improved access to financing.
Sean will start his tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of Finance at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management in Fall 2020, after completing a one-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Household Finance at the National Bureau for Economic Research. At Northwestern, he will work on a number of projects related to a research agenda that combines his interests in development economics and household finance that he began as a Tulane student.
Further information about Sean can be found at his website, at