Alexander Rothenberg

Photo of Alexander Rothenberg
Associate Economist
Off Site Office


Ph.D. in economics, University of California, Berkeley; B.A. in economics and mathematics, University of Virginia


Alex Rothenberg is an associate economist with the RAND Corporation. Prior to joining RAND, Rothenberg was a research assistant at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve and a graduate student instructor at the University of California, Berkeley. Rothenberg received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley in May 2012.

Rothenberg is an applied micro-economist with a background in applied econometrics, program evaluation, development, international trade, transportation, and urban economics. He has extensive experience with structural econometric modeling and reduced form techniques. His ongoing research involves work on agglomeration externalities and spatial policies in Indonesia, an evaluation of Indonesia's Transmigration program, and an examination of the impact of infrastructure improvements on firm entry and employment in Indonesia.

Recent Projects

  • Estimating Productivity Spillovers Using the Structure of Production Networks: Evidence from Indonesia
  • Road Quality and Local Economic Activity: Evidence from Indonesia's Highways
  • Skill Transferability, Migration, and Development: Evidence from Population Resettlement in Indonesia
  • Ethnic Diversity and Nation Building: Evidence from Population Resettlement in Indonesia
  • Transport Infrastructure and Firm Location Choice in Equilibrium: Evidence from Indonesia's Highways

Selected Publications

Rothenberg, A., A. Gaduh, N. Burger, C. Chazali, I. Tjandraningsih, R. Radikun, C. Sutera, and S. Weilant, "Rethinking Indonesia's Informal Sector," World Development, 80:96-113, 2016 (forthcoming)

Poczter, S., P. Gertler, and A. Rothenberg, "Financial Crisis and Productivity Evolution: Evidence from Indonesia," The World Economy, 37(5):705-731, 2014

Glennerster, R., E. Miguel, and A. Rothenberg, "Collective Action in Diverse Sierra Leone Communities," The Economic Journal, 123(568):285-316, 2013

Rothenberg, A. and F. E. Warnock, "Sudden Flight and True Sudden Stops," Review of International Economics, 19(3):509-524, 2011

Faucette, J., A. Rothenberg and F. Warnock, "Outflows-induced Sudden Stops," Journal of Policy Reform, 8(2):119-129, 2005

Honors & Awards

  • RAND Spotlight Award, 2014
  • Center for Equitable Growth Dissertation Fellowship, 2011-2012
  • Fischer Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics Dissertation Fellowship, 2009-2010


  • Indonesian farmers transporting crops beside an irrigation canal

    Matching and Migration: Lessons from a Resettlement Programme in Indonesia

    With careful planning, resettlement remains a feasible and politically attractive option for coping with environmentally-induced migration in many settings. The lessons from Indonesia's Transmigration program can help inform ongoing resettlement planning.

    Apr 5, 2016 International Growth Centre Blog


  • A man welding outdoors in Jakarta, Indonesia

    journal article

    Rethinking Indonesia's Informal Sector

    This paper reviews competing theories about the causes of informality in developing countries and uses new data to determine which theory best explains the persistence and scale of Indonesia's informal sector.

    Apr 18, 2016

  • A market in Indonesia


    Reforming Policies for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Indonesia

    Investigates constraints small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face and how existing programs do -- or do not -- help reduce these constraints, and includes recommendations on the importance of credit and on the need to remove information barriers.

    Jul 20, 2015

  • journal article

    Collective Action in Diverse Sierra Leone Communities

    Scholars have identified ethnic divisions as a leading cause of underdevelopment, due partially to their adverse effects on public goods. We investigate this issue in post-war Sierra Leone, one of the world's poorest and most ethnically diverse countries.

    May 1, 2013

  • journal article

    Financial Crisis and Productivity Evolution: Evidence from Indonesia

    We examine how the productivity of different industries changes over the course of a financial crisis by exploiting cross-firm, within-industry differences in productivity resulting from the Asian financial crisis of 1997.

    Jan 1, 2013