Banner for PDRI-DevLab Spring 2023 Seminar Series: Helene Purcell


PDRI-DevLab Spring 2023 Seminar Series: Helene Purcell

The Penn Development Research Initiative – DevLab@Penn (PDRI-DevLab) is hosting a Spring 2023 Seminar Series feating PDRI-DevLab staff and affiliates.

For more information, reach out to


Helene Purcell

Helene Purcell is a postdoctoral researcher at the Population Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania working on the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Families and Health (MLSFH). She graduated in 2021 with a PhD in Economics from Fordham University.

Helene’s research focuses on updating of beliefs and changing behavior in the face of new information or shocks. She is currently working on the most recent data collection of the MLSFH, which focuses on aging, health, economic outcomes, and the impact of COVID among older rural Malawians. Current working papers focus on the impact of a 2017 RCT intervention on COVID vaccination rates, as well as the determinants of vaccination among the rural poor.

Her dissertation work explored the impact of natural disasters on risk preferences and human capital accumulation in Indonesia. Previous research includes an impact evaluation of a quasi-experimental vegetation information updating intervention for pastoralists in Tanzania and Ethiopia.