Dina D. Pomeranz

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Dina Pomeranz is an assistant professor in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit, specializing in public policies towards firms and entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Her research has been published in journals such as the American Economic Review and the Tax Administration Review and has been featured in media outlets including CNN, Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal.

Professor Pomeranz is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an affiliate professor at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) and the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and a member of the International Growth Centre (IGC) and of the HBS Social Entreprise Initiative. Besides her academic interests, she serves on the board or advisory board of a number of social enterprise ventures committed to translating research into practice.


Dina Pomeranz is an assistant professor in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit, specializing in public policies towards firms and entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Her research is at the intersection of public finance and development economics and has been published in journals such as the American Economic Review and the Tax Administration Review and has been featured in media outlets including CNN, Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal.

Professor Pomeranz is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an affiliate professor at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) and the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and a member of the International Growth Centre (IGC) and of the HBS Social Entreprise Initiative. Besides her academic interests, she serves on the board or advisory board of a number of social enterprise ventures committed to translating research into practice.

Professor Pomeranz’s research focuses on public finance in developing countries. In particular, she has conducted large-scale randomized field experiments about tax evasion by firms and about determinants and impacts of formal savings for low-income microentrepreneurs. In current work, she is analyzing the impact of tax subsidies and public procurement regulations on investment and growth of SMEs in emerging markets. Prior to joining HBS, she served as a postdoctoral fellow at MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, with a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and BA and MA degrees in international relations from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva.

Beyond her research, Dina Pomeranz has been active in a variety of organizations, including as a consultant to Ernst & Young, the World Bank, the Chilean and Ecuadorian Tax Authorities, and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. She serves on the board of Evidence Action and TAMTAM-Together Against Malaria and on the advisory board of Instiglio and IDinsight. 

  1. Current research

    by Dina D. Pomeranz

    Professor Pomeranz's research is situated at the intersection of development economics and public finance. Her current work focuses in particular on corporate taxation and public procurement, the two key ways in which government finance affects firms and entrepreneurs. Governments globally extract about 20-25% of GDP from the private sector through taxation and pay an average of 10-15% of GDP to firms through public procurement. Whether or not this large share of the economy is managed in a way that creates an equal playing field is therefore of critical importance both for entrepreneurial opportunities and for economic development.

    To study these issues, Professor Pomeranz has conducted large-scale, randomized field experiments, as well as regressin discontinuity analysis and other rigurous research methods using large administrative datasets. In current research, she studies the impact of tax subsidies on firm investment, the effectiveness of international transfer pricing regulation and the role public procurement systems in emerging markets.
  2. Tax evasion

    by Dina D. Pomeranz

    Tax evasion generates billions of dollars of losses in government revenue and creates large distortions, especially in developing countries. A growing, mostly theoretical literature argues that information flows are central to understanding effective taxation. Professor Pomeranz has analyzed the role of information for tax enforcement in the case of the Value Added Tax (VAT) in Chile. She finds that the paper trail generated by the VAT leads to important spillovers in tax enforcement along the production chain. These findings confirm the claim that the VAT has self-enforcing properties, a claim that has contributed to widespread VAT adoption worldwide. They also point to the important role that firms play as aggregators of information, thereby facilitating tax enforcement.
  3. Savings among microentrepreneurs

    by Dina D. Pomeranz

    Poverty is often characterized not only by low average income, but also by highly variable income and expenditures, and by a lack of access to insurance services that can help smooth consumption. While commitment devices such as defaults and direct deposits from wages have been found to be highly effective in increasing savings, they are not available to the millions of people worldwide who work in the informal sector or as independent entrepreneurs, and who therefore do not have a formal wage bill.

    Professor Pomeranz has investigated low-income Chilean microentrepreneurs and found that self-help peer groups can be a highly effective alternative commitment device to encourage savings. Participation in a peer group program increased the number of deposits in formal savings accounts 3.5-fold and almost doubled the average savings balance. A subsequent experiment shows that more than 80 percent of the peer-group effect can be achieved through follow-up by simple text messages. These findings are particularly relevant in light of another study, in which Professor Pomeranz documents that low-income entrepreneurs can effectively use savings accounts for self-insurance and protection against economic shocks.