Professional and Biographical Information


Ph.D., Cornell University, 2018
A.B., Brown University, 2009

Research Interests

I work to understand the impact of economic policies and events on human thriving, where human thriving is broadly defined. To do this, I introduce social and psychological features into existing economic frameworks and quantify the extent to which these features matter for economic outcomes and well-being.  My current projects address three themes: 1) consumer responses to anti-soda legislation and campaigns, 2) the primary science of subjective well-being measures, and 3) learning and peer effects in social networks. Throughout my work, my methodological choice is question-driven—I use text analysis, survey experiments, laboratory experiments, and network analysis methods in addition to more traditional econometrics. 

Teaching Interests

In teaching, I prioritize constructive critical inquiry into economic knowledge and methods. I particularly enjoy teaching in my field, behavioral economics, at both the introductory and the advanced levels.


Debnam, Jakina. 2017. “Selection Effects and Heterogeneous Demand Responses to the Berkeley Soda Tax Vote.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 99 (5): 1172–87.