|Areas of Interest||Development Economics, Social Interaction, Social Learning|
Vesall Nourani hopes to study the co-evolution of social networks and market access in rural communities in developing countries. Through his PhD. research, he hopes to contribute to discourses on the functions of community institutions and structures in contributing to learning and coordination processes. He is currently working on a project that examines the effects and timing of liquidity vs. (social) knowledge constraints in decisions to take up pineapples as an export crop among Ghanaian farmers. Vesall also spent seven months in Uganda in 2007 working on an undergraduate honors thesis entitled "Trade vs. Aid in Development: Measuring Micro-level Impacts on the Standard of Living in Rural Uganda." While in Uganda, he worked as an intern with the Centre for Environment Technology and Rural Development and the National Agriculture Advisory Services.
Vesall is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and graduate of the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill which granted him B.A. degrees in Economics and Political Science (Honors) in 2008. Upon graduation, Vesall married his wife and best friend Sally Whisler Nourani and began work at RTI International in his home region in North Carolina. During this time, he developed his research interests through his participation in a volunteer program engaging middle-school aged youth in an exploratory educational setting. These "junior youth" formed a group with Vesall and his wife where they explored the concept of community identity in theory and practice for four years. Unbeknownst to them, the junior youth serve as a motivation in thinking of the role of social institutions and structures in Vesall's research. Vesall and Sally now have a wonderful infant son named Faizi.