Cecilia Mo

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Cecilia Hyunjung Mo
Graduate Dissertation Fellow 2010-11, Political Economics
Assistant Professor, Political Science, Vanderbilt University

Cecilia Mo is assistant professor in the department of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. She received her PhD in Political Economics from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Her research broadly focuses on three areas: 1) theories of bounded rationality - how cognitive constraints affect decision-making; 2) the political economy of development, specifically in the domains of gender and education; and 3) public opinion. A summary of Cecilia's work on gender and politics can be found on Gender News: What? Me Sexist?

In her dissertation, Mo examines the factors that induce and facilitate human trafficking on the supply side, and the identification of potential policy instruments for addressing vulnerabilities created by these factors. Mo collected original fieldwork data from villages in Nepal with high trafficking incidences, and is using analytical tools and modeling techniques from economics, political science, sociology, and psychology to illuminate the set of factors that make some women and children so vulnerable to human trafficking. Namely, she marries a game theoretic approach with an analysis of social structures, attitudes and belief construction to understand trafficking vulnerability. In so doing, it is Mo's hope that the study will provide valuable lessons that can assist practitioners in their efforts to construct program and policy instruments that more effectively address human trafficking vulnerability.