Development Economics PhD supervision

I have a wide range of interests but I tend to supervise projects in the area of applied microeconomics/microeconometrics.

I have successfully supervised PhD candidates and co-authored papers with them on evaluating the impact of educational interventions in Ecuador and Portugal; analysing the increase in female labour force participation in Kenya and most recently on the role of agricultural diversification in reducing poverty in Vietnam.

I work a lot with master and PhD students and the collaboration often results in working papers, conference papers and articles or book chapters. Typically this works best when students work on topics that fit in my research profile, but at ISS it is also possible to choose your own topic.

My present research interests are: world trade collapse and financial crisis, economic diplomacy and sanctions, gravity and trade and investment, and meta-analysis.

dr. (Georgina) GM Gomez

I am fascinated by the diversity of forms of organizing local economic schemes. My interests focus on patterns of collaboration and competition around the configuration of money, markets and enterprises. My research covers complementary currency systems, local markets, local production systems and social economy organisations. I consider these are niches for learning-by-doing and experimenting with alternative economic activities that may later expand or contest the capitalist system at large. I approach these topics from a historical and institutional perspective, because I consider institutions are the most essential brick in the structuring of socio- economic life.

I have worked for over decades  on issues of employment, inequality, poverty, economic reform especially in developing and emerging economies, increasingly  also in the context of globalization.

More recently I am also concerned with the system of international development, in particular issues of global governance, the Millennium development Goals and all the discussions on a relevant post 2015 development agenda. 

My research interest confined to developing economies.

I welcome PhD research projects in the field of political economy, especially fiscal capacity, aid conditionality, political economy of growth, political economy of macroeconomic policy making, and economics of conflict, such as rational choice approaches, peace agreements, micro-studies of conflict, and the liberal (capitalist) peace.

I also welcome candidates researching the natural resource economics in particular resource curse and ‘Dutch’ Disease; as well as in international economics.

dr. (Howard) VBH Nicholas

My preference is to supervise PhD students researching  in the areas of Industrial policy and Industrialisation.

This may include topics such as business cycles in the global economy as a whole and developing countries in particular; the sources and nature of shifts in global economic power between regions and countries; industrial development and industrialisation policies in developing countries; functioning of money and capital markets in developing countries.

I also welcome candidates in the fields of economic and financial integration in the East Asian region; the experience with, and future prospects for, development banking; and determinants of external payments balances and exchange rate movements in developing countries.

(Elissaios) E Papyrakis

My research interests lie in the intersection of environmental and development economics.

I have worked extensively on issues pertinent to the long-term economic growth processes of developing economies, in particular with reference to those exporting mineral resources.

I have supervised PhD students working on the following research topics: agriculture and climate change, international finance and the effectiveness of policy instruments, mineral extraction and welfare, climate finance and poverty alleviation, energy transitions and investment in the renewable sector, child poverty and government interventions, network theory and resilience. 

I welcome PhD students who want to engage with: Governance and environmental policies, corruption, institutional settings and collective action in environmental management, forestry and poverty reduction, natural resources dependency and poverty, extraction of non-renewable resources and institutional determinants of long‑run economic development.

PhD candidates who want to work on interdisciplinary issues around the extraction of hydrocarbons and minerals in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Central Asia are especially invited to apply. 

(Matthias) M Rieger

I am happy to supervise students in all areas of micro-development economics, behavioural/experimental economics and health economics.

You can find my latest research here:

My research interests include applied microeconomics in the areas of Global Health, Impact Evaluation of Social Protection Programs, Community-Based Development, Human Capital Investments and Labour markets.

I am happy to work with PhD candidates who come up with topics related to these areas.

dr. (Robert) RA Sparrow

My research interests relate to development economics, policy impact evaluation, education, child labour, nutrition, and health economics.

Most of my research projects have focused on social policy evaluation in South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

I have supervised PhD students on topics such as public spending and public service delivery, social policy and poverty reduction, migration and development, poverty reduction and human capital, as well as the impact of community based health insurance, cash transfer programs and social protection programmes.

I am a pluralist economist. I work in the perspectives of social economics, institutional economics, Post Keynesian economics and feminist economics. I welcome research proposals in either of these schools of thought, preferably with a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. I am interested in both macro and micro economics. I have no preference for a particular region of the world.

(Natascha) N Wagner

My research interests are in international economics, development and health.

In my research, I apply quantitative microeconomic methods to interdisciplinary questions. For example, I studied the role of Information Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D): in particular I analyzed the impact of SMS messages on retention and adherence of people living with HIV in Burkina Faso.

I am also interested in the uptake and benefits of on-grid and off-grid solar electrification. Furthermore, I address topics such as the economic consequences of female genital cutting (FGC), the link between bride price payments and fertility decisions, the impact of polygamous household organization on child health and the determinants of intended return migration among refugees.

My research is to a large extent the result of primary data collections and I have ample experience in impact evaluations employing randomized controlled trials (RCTs) as well as quasi-experimental designs.

I welcome PhD students with similar interests and experience in these areas.

Recent PhD defences supervized by Development Economics staff
PhD researchersTitle thesis
Eri IkedaGlobal and developing country business cycles
Eunjong KooWhere is the value of housework? Re-conceptualizing housework as family care activity
Juan David Parra HerediaCritical realism and the persistence of poor school performance in Northern Colombia. The difference it makes
Asa Ekvall

Gender inequality, homophobia and violence: the three pillars of patriarchal norms and attitudes and their relations

Raffael BeierFrom the city to the desert – Analysing shantytown resettlement in Casablanca, Morocco, from residents’ perspectives
Amrita DattaRural-urban migration from Bihar
Zemzem Shigute ShukaThe Ethiopian Productive Safety Net Program in addressing food insecurity and natural resource degradation problems of rural households