My doctoral research incorporates field experiments and causal econometric analysis to address three distinct, policy-relevant research questions. The primary research fields for this dissertation are development economics and applied econometrics. I also utilize methodological approaches from behavioral and experimental economics. The first two chapters utilize field experiments from central India to analyze two prominent barriers to economic development - gender discrimination and financial exclusion, respectively. My first chapter presents a lab-in-the-field experiment designed to identify the intensity and patterns of discrimination against women in economic decision-making. The findings indicate that discrimination is driven by poor gender stereotypes, which is identified as statistical discrimination. This study aims to inform the policy debate on designing interventions to promote gender equality. My second chapter uses a randomized experiment and lab-in-the-field games to analyze whether trust in village bankers can be enhanced to increase formal savings. Our results show that increasing banker-client interactions has a positive impact on trust in bankers in general, while personalized trust in local bankers is associated with higher savings. My final chapter uses an original, sub-national data-set to analyze the causal impact of the European financial crisis on demand for new skills. This research focuses on linguistic skills which are cited as a prominent barrier for migration and trade in the European Union (EU). Specifically, the analysis considers the demand for advanced certification in German language proficiency since German-speaking regions were relatively less affected by the economic downturn and labor market upheaval experienced by many EU members from 2007 onward. This study finds that demand for German language skills increased significantly in crisis-affected regions of Europe. The increase was driven by youth and is highest in the Greek and Latin linguistic regions which were severely affected by the crisis. This paper contributes novel evidence of skill-formation in response to economic shocks and provides support for EU members' policy focus on promoting multilingualism to increase economic competitiveness after the financial crisis.