Major Professor: Dr. Mason-Wardell
Area of Specialization: Development Economics
Yeyoung Lee is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics (AFRE) at Michigan State University. Her research interests largely focus on human capital development, food and nutrition security, and the impacts of agricultural policies on women’s empowerment in developing countries, especially in East Africa. She also has a keen interest in understanding different pathways to the heterogeneous effects of agricultural policies on smallholder farmers’ livelihood. During the 2015/6 academic year in her master’s program, she had an opportunity to meet farmers and conduct household surveys to look at the effects of extension services on farmers’ livelihood in Uganda. Her research collaboration on agricultural development has also taken her to fieldwork and interviews with various stakeholders in Tanzania.
Prior to joining AFRE, she worked as a research intern at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) based in Washington, DC. While there, she collaborated with researchers on two papers as a part of the Gender, Climate Change, and Nutrition Integration Initiative (GCAN), implemented under the CGIAR Research Program, and presented a paper at the Sustainability and Development Conference 2019. Back in Seoul, she continued to collaborate with IFPRI colleagues on the gender-specific response of agricultural labor to climatic shocks in Tanzania and the effects of drought on Intimate-Partner Violence (IPV) in developing countries. Her field missions and research opportunities motivated her to move forward with the AFRE Ph.D. program.
During her first two years at AFRE, she produced three papers in peer-reviewed journals, including the study she collaborated with IFPRI as a lead author published in Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy (AEPP). In the 2021/22 academic year, she worked with her advisor and a researcher of IFPRI to build up her research topics on gender, time use, and the safety net program in Ethiopia and virtually presented her poster at the Agricultural and Applied Economic Association (AAEA) in August 2021. In addition, she attended the CGIAR Gender platform annual conference, Cultivating Equality 2021 in October, presented her paper on heat stress impacts on gendered labor allocation, and discussed the results with policymakers from USAID, IFAD, and the Africa Climate Foundation.
She currently works as a short-term consultant at IFPRI for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small-Scale Irrigation (ILSSI), supported by USAID, and assists her supervisors at AFRE with Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research, Capacity, & Influence (PRCI), particularly with PRCI-Africa technical training. Her collaborations with researchers from all different places deeply motivate her to work together on the frontlines in which acute needs exist.