Associate Professor of Economics
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Rebecca Thornton is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. Prior to that, Dr. Thornton was in the Department of Economics and a Research Affiliate at the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan. Dr. Thornton completed her PhD in Political Economy and Government with a joint degree from the Harvard University Economics Department and the J.F. Kennedy School of Government in 2006. She was an NIA post-doc from 2006 to 2008 at the University of Michigan Population Studies Center. Her research focuses on health and education in developing countries including topics such as HIV prevention, reproductive health, primary education, and social networks. Dr. Thornton is an affiliate with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) whose main aims are to use experimental methods to translate research into policy action and alleviate poverty in the developing world. She is also a junior affiliate in BREAD (Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development).