Dr. Gbetonmasse Somasse is an economist and applied econometrician with field experience as a development practitioner. He is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Social Science and Policy Studies at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Prior to joining WPI, he was a lecturer at Clark University. He also served as senior economist statistician at the Central Bank of West African States and a consultant for the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the United Nations Development Program.
His research is mostly policy-oriented and focuses on how economic theory and empirical research provide insights to improve development strategies. His main interests are in applied policy, program evaluation, and international development with research topics such as education, technology, environment, poverty and inequality, labor markets, and Africa.
In the classroom, he serves as a bridge and a facilitator to help learners connect the dots between what they already knew and new material they are learning, so that they can synthesize knowledge almost by themselves. This strategy enables them to feel more confident and understand how they can learn independently. Dr. Somasse leverages his communication skills and his passion for statistics and economics to inspire and motivate students in his classes to become critical thinkers and problem-solvers, through hands-on, team-based, and project-based learning activities. He enjoys motivating engineering students to understand the world’s socio-economic challenges so that they may better contribute to addressing human needs and social justice.
At WPI, he teaches for many economics’ courses including Introductory microeconomics, Introductory macroeconomics, International economics, Environmental economics, and Econometrics. He enjoys advising off-campus and serves as a Co-Director for the Cape Town Project Center.
Dr. Somasse holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Clark University with a specialization in development economics and applied econometrics. His dissertation focused on the effects of education policies on access and quality of schooling with implications for the labor markets and inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa. He also holds a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Statistics.