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Dean Spears
r.i.c.e
dspears@princeton.edu
Dean’s research focuses on children’s health and human capital, which these days often means height, sanitation, and social forces in Indian households and villages. He has also done research about population issues in social welfare and about decision-making, in particular decision-making by poor people and the social psychology of interaction between richer and poorer people. Dean has worked in El Salvador, India, and South Africa. His is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma and has an M.A. in International Studies from the University of Oklahoma. He has a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) degree in Development Studies and a Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University. He is currently a visiting economist at the Economic and Planning Unit of the Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi.

Articles By Dean Spears
Why doesn’t anybody know if Swachh Bharat Mission is succeeding?
Posted On: 10 Jul 2017

Topics:   Health

In 2014, the Prime Minister announced a goal of eliminating open defecation by 2019. In this article, Coffey and Spears, contend that now almost two-thirds of the way through the Swachh Bharat Mission, nobody knows whether it is succeeding because there is no credible, independent survey that can offer a useful estimate of the fraction of rural persons defecating in the open.
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Angus Deaton’s ideas for India
Posted On: 30 Oct 2015


In a tribute to Angus Deaton, the 2015 Nobel laureate in Economics, Diane Coffey and Dean Spears – former graduate students of Prof. Deaton at Princeton University – review some of his work on the well-being of the poor in India, and discuss the paradoxes and puzzles that still remain.
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Left, right, and toilets
Posted On: 19 Aug 2014

Topics:   Health

Eliminating open defecation in India is a policy priority. This column contends that successful strategies for reducing open defecation may not fit policy stereotypes of the left or the right. While rural sanitation policy in states where this practice is most concentrated has been focused on latrine construction, promotion of latrine use is what will make a difference.
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Child stunting and open defecation: How much of the South Asian height “enigma” is a toilet gap?
Posted On: 18 Feb 2013

Topics:   Health

Children in India are shorter on average than children in Sub-Saharan Africa, even though Indians are richer on average. What explains this paradox? This column suggests open defecation as a possible explanation, and recommends that policymakers in India should work towards achieving widespread latrine use.
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