The Catholic University of America
Business and Economics Faculty

Ava Gail Cas – Assistant Professor of Economics


Dr. Ava Cas is an assistant professor of economics. She specializes in the field of development economics, with particular focus on health and education in developing countries.

One theme in her current research explores the linkage between environmental influences during the early childhood years and later human capital outcomes. In addition, she also examines whether maternal health prior to and at the time of conception matters for outcomes later in life. Another theme of her research examines the importance of school resources on education outcomes. Her earlier work has examined the impact of parental loss due to natural disasters, on the well-being of children.

Dr. Cas has presented her work in various conferences in US which include the Northeast Universities Development Consortium, Pacific Conference for Development Economics, Midwest International Development Conference and the Population Association of America. She was also a recipient of the International Institute of Education/Hewlett Dissertation Fellowship Program in 2010-2012 and the Asian Development Bank Fellowship in 2004-2006. On the side, she has served as a consultant for World Bank to evaluate the impact of a microfinance-related project in Indonesia.

Dr. Cas finished her PhD in Public Policy (Economics) at Duke University in 2012. She also holds a MA in International Development from the International University of Japan and a BS in Statistics from the University of the Philippines.

Research and Writing

“The Impact of Parental Death on Child Well-Being: Evidence from the Indian Ocean Tsunami”, with E. Frankenberg, W. Suriastini and D. Thomas, NBER Working Paper No. 19357 (forthcoming, Demography)

“Early Life Public Health Intervention and Adolescent Cognition: Evidence from the Safe Motherhood Program in Indonesia”, working paper.

“The Impact of Typhoon-Resistant Schools and Instructional Equipment on Education in the Philippines”, working paper.

“Remittances and Family Life Cycle: Explaining Differences in Motivations”, mimeo, International University of Japan, 2006.

“Institutionalizing Productivity Measures in the Philippine Statistical System”, 9th National Convention on Statistics, Philippines, (with R. Virola, E. Domingo and R. Talento), 2004.

Selected Presentations

“Early Life Public Health Intervention and Adolescent Cognition: Evidence from the Safe Motherhood Program in Indonesia”

  • Presented at Duke Economics Development Lunch Seminar(October 2011), Northeast Universities Development Consortium (November 2011), Pacific Conference for Development Economics (March 2012), Midwest International Economic Development Conference (April 2012), Population Association of America poster session (May 2012)

“The Impact of Parental Death on Child Well-Being”, with E. Frankenberg, W. Suriastini and D. Thomas

  • Presented at Duke Economics Development Lunch Seminar (February 2009), Population Association of America (May 2009; April 2010), Northeast Universities Development Consortium (November 2009)


In Her Words ...

I am passionate about finding appropriate solutions that help address the issues in developing countries. I'd like to share this passion with my students and equip them with the tools they need to evaluate potential development solutions.– Ava Cas



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

Office hours: By appointment.




  • ECON 463 – Econometrics
  • IEDM/IEDP 543 – Applied Econometrics


Ph.D., Public Policy Economics
Duke University

M.A., International Development
International University of Japan

B.S., Statistics
University of the Philippines