The Catholic University of America
Business and Economics Faculty

Michael Barker – Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics


Dr. Michael Barker is currently serving as a visiting assistant professor of economics at the Catholic University of America, teaching classes in macroeconomics and microeconomics. Dr. Barker has recently finished his Ph.D. in economics at Georgetown University, where he previously completed a Masters in Public Policy. His research concerns the evaluation of impactful questions in public policy, primarily in the area of education. His fields of specialization are microeconometrics and development economics.

Dr. Barker completed his undergraduate education at Brown University, majoring in economics with extensive course work in computer science. These areas of interest have continued to influence his research, in which he applies innovative techniques to solve persistent econometric problems. The problems addressed in his graduate research arise from complex interdependencies between economic agents, which are difficult to capture using traditional econometric techniques. Two examples of this work are the estimation of peer effects within classrooms, and the analysis of parental decisions regarding educational investments over their full set of children.

Dr. Barker also has significant field work and program evaluation experience. In collaboration with the World Bank and the World Food Programme, he participated in the evaluation of a conditional transfer program in Cambodia, which tested the relative effectiveness of transfers made in food and in cash. This research has informed the World Food Programme’s introduction of direct cash transfer and voucher programs in Cambodia and around the world.


Publications and Presentations

“Identification and Estimation of Peer Effects using Conditional Covariance Restrictions,” working paper.

“Structural Estimation of Household Decisions on Child Time Allocation,” working paper.

“Evaluating Food vs. Cash Assistance in Rural Cambodia” (with Deon Filmer and Jamele Rigolini of the World Bank), program evaluation, May 2014.

“Food vs. Cash Assistance: Evidence from Rural Cambodia” (with Deon Filmer and Jamele Rigolini of the World Bank), presented at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) PHND Seminar,December 2013, Washington DC.

“Two-stage regression without exclusion restrictions,” presented at the Stata Conference, July 2013, New Orleans, LA.  

In His Words ...

There is a sense of community and purpose within the School of Business and Economics at CUA that makes teaching and learning here a pleasure. The mission of the school encourages faculty, staff, and students to pursue a vocation, not just an occupation. 

– Michael Barker


Office: 309 McMahon Hall
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20064

Phone: 202-319-6172




  • Econ 101 – Principles of Macroeconomics

  • Econ 104 – Principles of Economics II (Honors)

  • Econ 241 – Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory

  • Econ 243 – Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory II  


B.A. Economics, Brown University, 2004.

M.P.P., McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University, 2010.

Ph.D. Economics, Georgetown University, 2015.

Areas of Expertise

  • Microeconometrics

  • Microeconomic Theory

  • Economic Development