Jill E. Luoto

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Economist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
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Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics, University of California, Berkeley; M.A. in international and development economics, University of San Francisco; B.A. in Spanish studies, American University; B.Sc. in mathematics, American University

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Jill Luoto is an economist at the RAND Corporation who conducts research in the areas of economic development, microfinance, and behavioral and health economics. She is also a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Luoto is principal investigator (PI) on a randomized controlled trial testing an innovative sales contract to increase access to and use of durable ceramic safe water filters using mobile banking payment collections in Kenya, as well as a two-year cluster randomized controlled trial of 20 rural health facilities in western Kenya that tests provider- and patient-based interventions to increase utilization of antenatal and postnatal care and clinic deliveries among an estimated 4,000 rural pregnant women. Luoto has also worked on a joint RAND and USAID project aimed at the development of an evidence framework for evaluating programmatic effectiveness of community-level global public health programs, and a project performing a quasirandomized impact evaluation of cataract surgeries to estimate the economic costs of blindness among poor rural Ethiopians. She has conducted field work studying poor populations on six continents. Luoto received her Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Selected Publications

Luoto, J, M Maglione, B Johnsen, TR Perry, C Chang, E Higgs, and P Shekelle, "A comparison of evidence frameworks for evaluating evidence for global health interventions," PLoS Medicine, 10(7), 2013

Luoto, J, M. Mahmud, J Albert, S Luby, L.Unicomb and DI Levine, "Learning to Dislike Safe Water Products: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effects of Direct and Peer Experience on Willingness to Pay," Environmental Science & Technology, 2012

Christiaensen, L., P. Lanjouw, J. Luoto and D. Stifel, "Small Area Estimation-Based Prediction Methods to Track Poverty: Validations and Applications," The Journal of Economic Inequality, 10(2), 2012

Luoto, J., N. Najnin, M.Mahmud, J. Albert, MS Islam, S. Luby, L. Unicomb and DI Levine, "What Point-of-Use Water Treatment Products do consumers Use? Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial Among the Urban Poor of Bangladesh," PLoS ONE, 6(10), 2011

Albert, Jeff, Jill Luoto and David Levine, "End-User Preferences for and Performance of Competing POU Water Treatment Technologies among the Rural Poor of Kenya," Environmental Science & Technology, 44(12):4426-4432, 2010

Luoto, Jill, Craig McIntosh and Bruce Wydick, "Credit Information Systems in Less Developed Countries: A Test with Microfinance in Guatemala," Economic Development and Cultural Change, 55(2):313-334, 2007


  • Women and children collecting water from the unimproved water source of Asengo Community. Asengo Community, Kisumu, Kenya

    Using Mobile Money to Make Water Safe

    Contaminated drinking water contributes to the deaths of some 750,000 children under the age of five every year due to diarrheal disease. A RAND project is using mobile phones to increase the sales and use of safe-water filters in Kenya.

    May 21, 2013 The RAND Blog