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PATRICK DEVAHASTIN

Pattaphol Yuktadatta

Assistant Professor in Economics

Hiroshima University

Education:

PhD Economics, Hiroshima University, 2023

MSc Economics, Warwick University, 2017

Bachelor of Economics, Thammasat University, 2016

Research Interest:

Labour Economics, Gender and LGBTQ+ Economics, Discrimination, and Health Economics,

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Email: patrick-devahastin[at]hiroshima-u.ac.jp

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ABOUT ME

I come from a multicultural background that has shaped my worldview and fueled my passion for addressing societal issues. Raised by my Cantonese maternal grandmother, who emigrated from Hong Kong in the 1930s, I was immersed in Chinese overseas culture during my formative years. Later, I attended a bilingual elementary school where I not only learned English but also gained exposure to Anglo-Saxon culture. As the internet became popularized in Thailand, I embraced it as a window to the world, utilizing my bilingualism to access diverse perspectives and expand my understanding of global issues.

 

During this time, I became increasingly aware of the challenges plaguing Thailand, including inequality, xenophobia, and homophobia, which I recognized as consequences of political and economic decisions made by Thai authorities. Motivated to make a difference, I decided to pursue an Economics degree in English at Thammasat University, where I began to develop my own voice despite living in a repressive country with a cult of personality. Fortunately, I found support from exceptional mentors—Professor Bhanuphong Nidhiprabha, Ajarn Sicha Thubdimphun, and Ajarn Wankwan Polachan—who encouraged my intellectual growth and allowed me to express myself without fear.

 

Throughout my undergraduate years, I had the opportunity to visit esteemed institutions such as LSE, UCLA, and the University of Richmond (VA). These experiences exposed me to diverse applications of Economics and deepened my understanding of how this field could be harnessed to address societal challenges. During this time, Professor KimMarie McGoldrick inspired my passion for labour economics. Her coursework prompted me to explore my family history through the lens of labour economics, shedding light on the profound impact of xenophobia and sexism on my grandmother, who immigrated to Thailand in the 1930s. Eager to delve further into labour economics, I became determined to pursue an MSc in Economics at Warwick to broaden my knowledge in this area.

 

At Warwick, I was fortunate to meet Professor Roland Rathelot, who later became my MSc dissertation supervisor. His class introduced me to the study of discrimination in the labour market, and under his guidance, I developed a correspondence study on discrimination against the Muslim minority in Thailand. Upon my return to Thailand in 2019, I proposed a research project examining discrimination against gender and sexual minorities in Thailand and Japan. This led to an offer of the Japanese government PhD scholarship, allowing me to work under the guidance of Professor Yoshihiko Kadoya, whose focus on discrimination against the ageing population aligned with my research interests.

 

However, the onset of the coronavirus pandemic prompted a shift in research priorities, and I transitioned to studying public policies and health economics. While pursuing my PhD at Hiroshima, I faced new challenges in adapting to a non-English speaking country and encountered xenophobia and passive aggression as a non-Japanese, non-white individual. Nevertheless, these experiences taught me resilience and resourcefulness, enabling me to navigate my PhD journey, particularly during my final year.

 

Although I have published several papers on public health policies, my passion for labour economics remains unwavering. My current part-time work in a factory in Hiroshima has rekindled my interest in the dynamics of the workplace and the decision-making processes of my colleagues. This firsthand experience has reignited my enthusiasm for labour economics and motivated me to refocus my research on gender and sexuality within this field. I firmly believe that numerous untold LGBTQ+ stories can be explored through the lens of economics. Many of these stories have remained silent or even criminalized. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I consider it my responsibility to contribute to advancing this research area.

Lastly, prior to embarking on my PhD journey, I had the privilege of working as a research assistant on four simultaneous projects, allowing me to gain invaluable experience and insights. One particular project led me to visit various regions of Thailand, including conflict-ridden areas such as Pattani and Yala. Working alongside Ajarn Pimopan Isarabhakdi, an esteemed expert in qualitative studies, we conducted interviews with hundreds of students hailing from disadvantaged backgrounds. The trust bestowed upon us by these individuals, as they shared their personal stories, left a profound impact on me. This immersive experience served as a catalyst for my passion to study the dynamics of inequality, particularly within the context of Thailand. Witnessing first-hand the struggles and challenges faced by these students further ignited my determination to explore and understand the complex mechanisms perpetuating inequality in our society.

LET’S CONNECT

 1-1-1 Kagamiyama, Higashi-Hiroshima City, Hiroshima, 739-8524

JAPAN

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