Ricardo Godoy

Professor of International Development

Ricardo  Godoy's photo


Email: rgodoy@brandeis.edu
Office: Heller-Brown Building 153
Phone: 781-736-2784
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Acculturation; inequality; social capital; econometrics; research design; Bolivia; indigenous peoples; native Amazonians; panel studies; randomized controlled trials


  • HS 221f - Economics of Education
  • HS 225f - Measurement of Inequality to Health and Development
  • HS 237f - Applied Cost-Benefit Analysis for Development Practitioners
  • HS 238f - Evaluating Survey Data Using Stata: Questioning Answers
  • HS 278f - Monitoring and Evaluation
  • HS 306f - Survey Design and Data Analysis for Development
  • HS 315f - Randomized Controlled Trials


  • Columbia University
  • Harvard University
  • University of Chicago
  • Tufts University

Ricardo Godoy

Professor of International Development


Godoy is a cultural anthropologist who draws on insights from evolutionary biology and economic theory to formulate hypotheses about the effects of market exposure, globalization, or modernization on the well-being and the use of natural resources of indigenous people. He collaborates with biological and cultural anthropologists from Northwestern University, the University of Georgia, and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in a study called the Tsimane¿ Amazonian Panel Study (TAPS). The research team carries out annual survey waves in which they measure a wide range of socioeconomic, demographic, health, and psychological indicators.

Besides Bolivia and the study of globalization, he has done and continues to do randomized control trials of a wide range of interventions among native Amazonians in Bolivia.

Awards and Honors

  • Teaching award, Heller, 2009 (2009)
  • NSF-Panel, IGERT (2002)
  • NSF-Panel, Cultural Anthropology (1999 - 2002)
  • President's Fellowship, Columbia University (1977 - 1978)
  • Tufts University (1972)


  • Bauchet, J., Undurraga, E., Zhang, R., & R. Godoy.. "Markets and Indigenous Peoples: Testing hypotheses from the Western intellectual tradition.." Journal of Anthropological Research (2020). (forthcoming)
  • Reyes-García, V., Fernández-Llamazares, Á., Bauchet, J., & R. Godoy. "Variety of Indigenous People's attitudes towards large infrastructure projects: The TIPNIS road in the Bolivian Amazon." World Development (2020). (forthcoming)
  • McPherson, M.; Dolan S.; Durango, A.; Ossandon, T. et al. R. Godoy. "Perceptual fusion of musical notes by native Amazonians suggests universal representations of musical intervals.." Nature Communications. Published. Vol. 11] (2021).
  • Bauchet, J., Undurraga, E., Zycherman, A., Behrman, J., Leonard, W., & Godoy, R. "The effect of gender targeting of unconditional income transfers on child nutritional status: Experimental evidence from the Bolivian Amazon." Journal of Development Effectiveness [second revised and resubmit) (2020).
  • Bauchet, J., Eduardo A. Undurraga, J.R. Behrman, William R. Leonard, and R.A. Godoy. "The short-term impacts of unconditional in-kind transfers on child cognitive skills: Experimental evidence from rural Bolivia." World Development (revise and resubmit) (2018).
  • Bauchet, J., Eduardo A. Undurraga, V. Reyes-García, Jere. R. Behrman, and R.A. Godoy. "Conditional cash transfers for primary education: Which children are left out?." World Development 105. (2018): 5-12.
  • Bauchet, J.; Godoy, Ricardo. "What do trade and markets do to indigenous people? Testing hypotheses from Heredotous to Hirschman with panel data from the Amazon." Journal of Anthropological Research (under review) (2018).
  • Brabek, M. et al., and R. Godoy. "The lasting influence on child height: Longitudinal evidence from a horticultural-foraging society." Annals of Human Biology [Revise and resubmit] (2018).
  • Undurraga, E.A., R.A. Godoy. "Childhood growth stunting associated with adverse educational indicators in a horticultural-foraging society of native Amazonians in Bolivia." American J of Human Biology (accepted) (2018).
  • Zhao, Ma., Godoy, Ricardo. "Comparison of direct transfers for human capital development and environmental conservation." World Development (in press) (2017).
  • E. Undurraga, V. Nica, I. Mensah, and Godoy, Ricardo. "The visibility of community resource inequality and psychological health." Economics and Human biology 23. (2016): 18-26.
  • Godoy, Ricardo, McDermot et al.. "Indifference to dissonance in native Amazonians reveals cultural variation in music perception." Nature 535. (2016): 547-550.
  • Undurraga, J.R. Behrman, W.R. Leonard, E., R. Godoy. "The effects of community income inequality on health: Evidence from a randomized control trial in the Bolivian Amazon.
  • Zhang, R., W. Zeng. E.A. Undurraga, V. Reyes-Garcia, S. Tanner, W. Leonard, J.R. Behrman, and Godoy, Ricardo. "Catch-up growth and growth deficits: Nine-year annual panel child growth data from native Amazonians in Bolivia." Annals of Human Biology 43. 4 (2016): 304-315.
  • Godoy, Ricardo, Dean karlan et al. "Impulsivity and savings among native Amazonians: Results of a randomized control trial.
  • Godoy, Ricardo, Saidi, F. et al.. "Income, inequality, and well-being - field experimental evidence.
  • Rosinger, Asher and Godoy, Ricardo. "Height and weight in primitive societies." Oxford Handbook of Human Biology. Ed. John Komlos. Oxford, UK: Oxford U Press, 2015
  • Undurraga, E., R. Godoy, and A. Valenzuela. "Test gap among indigenous children of Chile." Social Forces - under review (2015).
  • Godoy, Ricardo, Undurraga e tl.. "Math skills and market and non-market outcomes." Economics of Educaiton Review (2014).
  • Godoy, Ricardo; Undurraga, E. et al.. "Savings at the periphery of markets." J Development Studies (2014).
  • E. A. Undurraga, et al., R. Godoy. "Savings at the periphery of markets: Evidence from forager-farmers in the Bolivian Amazon." J of Development Studies (2013).
  • E. Undurraga, Jere R. Behrman, Elena L. Grigorenko, Alan Schultz, Julie Yiu, TAPS Bolivia Study Team, R. Godoy. "Math Skills and market and non-market outcomes: Evidence from an Amazonian society of forager-farmers." Economics of Education Review 37. (2013): 138-147.
  • O. Magvanjav, et al., R. Godoy. "Sibling composition and children's anthropometric indicators of nutritional status: Evidence from native Amazonians in Bolivia." Annals of Human Biology 40. 1 (2013): 23-34.
  • Wu Zeng, et al., R. Godoy. "Adult obesity: Panel study from native Amazonians." Economics and Human Biology 11. 2 (2013): 227-235.
  • E.A. Undurraga, et al., R. Godoy. "The perceived benefits of height: Strength, dominance, social concern, and knowledge among Bolivian native Amazonians." PLoS ONE 7. 5 (2012).
  • Zebrowitz, Leslie A., Wang, Ruoxue, Bronstad, P. Matthew, Eisenberg, Dan, Undurraga, Eduardo, Reyes-Garcia, Victoria, R. Godoy. "First impressions from faces among U.S. and culturally isolated Tsimane' people in the Bolivian rainforest." J of Cross-Cultural Psychology 43. 1 (2012): 119-134.
  • Zeng Wu, et al., R. Godoy. "The effects of sibling composition during childhood and adult blood pressure among native Amazonians in Bolivia." Economics and Human Biology 11. 3 (2012): 391-401.
  • Zeng Wu, et al., R. Godoy. "The effects of sibling composition on child educational attainment: Evidence from native Amazonians in Bolivia." Economics of Education Review 31. 6 (2012): 1017-1027.
  • Undurraga, R. Godoy et al.. "Individual wealth rank, community wealth inequality, and self-reported adult poor health: A test of hypotheses with panel data (2002-2006) from native Amazonians, Bolivia.." Medical Anthropology Quarterly 24. 4 (2010): 552-548.
  • Undurruga, Eduardo, et al. R. Godoy. "Human's cognitive ability to assess facial cues from photographs: A study of sexual selection in the Bolivian Amazon." PLoS ONE 5. 6 e11027 (2010): 1-10.
  • William R. Leonard and R. Godoy. "Tsimane’ Amazonian Panel Study (TAPS): The first 5 years (2002-2006) of socioeconomic, demographic, and anthropometric data available to the public." Economics and Human Biology 6. 2 (2010): 299-301.
  • C. Gravlee, D.P. Kennedy, R. Godoy, W.R. Leonard. "Methods for collecting panel data: What can anthropology learn from other disciplines?." Journal of Anthropological Research. 65. 3 (2009): 453-483.
  • R. Godoy et al. "Does civilization cause discontentment among indigenous Amazonians? Test of empirical data from the Tsimane of Bolivia." Journal of Economic Psychology. (2009).
  • R. Godoy et al. "Does the future affect the present? The effects of future weather on the current collection of planted crops and wildlife in a native Amazonian society of Bolivia." Human Ecology. 37. 5 (2009): 613-628.
  • R. Godoy et al. "Moving beyond a snapshot to understand changes in the well-being of native Amazonians: Panel evidence (2002-2006) from Bolivia." Current Anthropology. 50. 4 (2009): 563-573.
  • R. Godoy et al. "Short but catching up: Statural growth among native Amazonian Bolivian children." American Journal of Human Biology 22. 3 (2009): 336-347.
  • R. Godoy et al. "The effect of real income on wildlife consumption among native Amazonians in Bolivia: Estimates of annual trends with panel data (2002-2006) from the Tsimane’." Animal Conservation. (2009).
  • R. Godoy et al. "The relation between forest clearance and household income among native Amazonians: Results from the Tsimane’ Amazonian Panel Study, Bolivia." Ecological Economics 68. (2009): 1864-1871.
  • R. Godoy et al. "Why no adult stunting penalty or height premium? Estimates from native Amazonians in Bolivia." Economics and Human Biology. 22. 3 (2009): 336-347.
  • R. Godoy, et al. "Long-term (secular) change of ethnobotanical knowledge of useful plants: Separating cohort and age effects." Journal of Anthropological Research. 65. (2009): 51-67.
  • S. Tanner, W. Leonard, T. McDade, V. Reyes-García, R. Godoy, and T. Huanca. "Influence of helminth infections on childhood nutritional status in lowland Bolivia." American Journal of Human Biology 21. 5 (2009): 651-656.
  • V. Reyes-García, R. Godoy, et al. "The pay-offs to sociability: Solitary and social leisure and happiness." Human Nature. 20. (2009): 431-446.