» Archive for: April, 2013


On completion of my MA in Economics of Development at ISS, there was absolutely no doubt what the next step will be in my academic ladder. I wascertainthat ISS hasprovided me with a solid foundation in research   to start and finish a PHD in any University anywhere in the world. Of course, in getting a good and competitive PhD, you need a convincing proposal and good recommendation from renowned Professors. Fortunately, because of congenial relationship that exists between Professors and students at ISS, I got guidance from them to get me selected. .

In August 2012, I started a PhD programme   at Aarhus University, Denmark. My contract was not just as a PhD student but also to double as a Teaching Assistant. Aarhus University is very competitive, ranked among the top 100 Universities in the world by several influential rankings. For that reason, it attracts very excellent students and researchers. For me to pass the mark and gain acceptance into their PhD program despite their strict and competitive selection is an attestation of good the foundation I have received from ISS.

In my Master’s thesis at ISS, I had worked on the topic: ‘The Impact of Regional Economic Integration on Bilateral Trade: A Comparative Study of ECOWAS, SADC and the EU Preferential Trade Agreement” (of which I was awarded Professor Hans Opschoor Award for Best Research Paper in Economics of Development Specialization). With the assistance of Prof. Peter van Bergeijk, I was able to come out with a working paper in ISS Working paper series. Additionally I was awarded a grant from the  German Research Committee for Development Economics (AEL), which enabled me to travel from Ghana to present a paper “Multi-membership and the effectiveness of regional trade agreements in Western and Southern Africa: A Comparative study of ECOWAS and SADC” at the seventh annual AEL conference in Berlin (June 23-5, 2011).

ISS will always be credited for shaping my interest in research and providing me with a solid foundation to take up the mantle to start and hopefully finish a PHD

Sylvanus Kwaku Afesorgbor

PhD Fellow

Aarhus Universitet
Business and Social Sciences
Department of Economics and Business

Fuglesangs Allé 4
DK – 8210 Aarhus V

A recent ISS working paper (co-authored by Sara Lazzaroni and Peter van Bergeijk) systematizes recent macroeconomic empirical literature on the direct and indirect impact of natural disasters. The working paper provides a meta-analysis of 20 studies published during 2002-2013. The authors show that the disagreement between these studies is caused by the empirical design, the estimation technique and the resilience factors included in the analyses. The meta-regression suggests that studies that analyse indirect costs have a 88% higher probability to find a positive significant disaster impact than studies of direct costs. If the impact of the disaster is modelled through a disaster indicator, the likelihood of finding a negative and significant disaster impact increases by 64%.


International Institute of Social Studies

Economics of Development (ECD) is a Major in the MA in Development Studies. This blog provides a platform for discussion for researchers, students and others interested in this field of studies. The blog is administered by the ECD teaching team.