» Archive for: December, 2013

The graduates waiting for the diploma









Gra 2



















Enjoying the drink and congratulation messages during the graduation reception

Gra 3














The ECD farewell dinner following the graduation ceremony
ECD Dinner 4ECD DinnerECD Dinner 5ECD Dinner 3















Professor Hans Opschoor Award for Best Research Paper in ECD










DSC_0354The batch of 2012-13 had 30 students at the beginning of the academic year. As the year progressed we lost one to illness and gained one as a result of an internal transfer between majors. The batch contained 12 double degree students from Indonesia, who began with the regular batch in September last year but finished the ISS part of their degree at the end of August. This unfortunately means they are not with us in body to celebrate, but I know they are all watching the live feed of the graduation. I am happy to announce that 29 out of the 30 students who started the year will graduate, and we hope that the remaining one will do so shortly.

How would I describe this batch? One word immediately comes to mind; “relaxed”. By this I do not mean they were lazy, rather, that they were extremely accommodating.  A good case in point is their forbearance with the endless stop-go debate over the study trip, and the fact that they made the most of a mere one night in Brugge – which was all we could manage for the study trip this year. A second word which comes to mind is “interesting”.  This refers to the many interesting characters in this group with unforgettable nicknames like “Mango” and “Nut”. The third, and last, word that comes to mind when describing this group is “harmonious”.  They were harmonious in the sense that they worked well together and really bonded with one another, notwithstanding the large number of double-degree Indonesian students. They were also harmonious in the sense that there were many good singers among them. I will always remember the impromptu Karaoke session in our hotel in Brugge during the above-mentioned study trip, when Mango was harmonising with Dewi, Caia and others to the tune of “We are young”. Indeed, the only person not to appreciate their wonderful harmonies was the hotel manager who put a premature end to our evening of song.

Finally, I want to thank my colleagues, both academic and administrative, for making this another successful year. Thanks to my academic colleagues for being so supportive and flexible in the first year of our reorganised MA, compensating for a considerable loss of teaching staff in the programme due to departures and retirements. Thanks also to the administrative staff for their continued support throughout the year in spite of extremely difficult and unsettle circumstances they faced in the reorganisation process. Of particular note in this regard is the work of Marja Zubli, the ECD programme administrator.

On behalf of all ECD staff let me end by wishing you the ECD batch of 2012-13 much happiness and success in all you endeavour to do in the future in both your personal and professional lives.

Howard Nicholas is a Convenor of the ECD Programme, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam

Selwyn_MoonsThe world of economics and diplomacy is highly intertwined. Economic diplomats from developing and developed countries influence international trade and investment flows. How this effect run is until know mostly unknown. This thesis aims to shed further light on the heterogeneous effects of economic diplomacy. This will be done in a number of ways. Firstly, he will try to establish a Meta effect of economic diplomacy on international flows. The Meta-Analysis combines several studies of similar design and investigates consistencies and discrepancies between their results. Secondly, he will look further into the effects of economic diplomacy by investigating the way the trading relation between countries is influenced by economic diplomacy. he will do so by disentangling the effect of economic diplomats on the intensive and extensive margin of trade.  Thirdly, the effect of economic diplomacy on foreign direct investments will be tested econometrically in several ways. This has so far received limited research attention even though foreign investment flows are of major importance to the world economy these days.


When: 20 December 2013

Time: 10:00 – 12:00

Venue: Room 3.39


Selwyn Moons is an EDEM PhD candidate at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) Erasmus University of Rotterdam. At the same time, he is working in the management team of the Directorate general for Foreign Economic Relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The directorate has various responsibilities among which the formulation of Dutch trade policy, stimulating the internationalization of the Dutch business community and attracting foreign investors to the Netherlands. The directorate also reviews national economic policies on their international consequences. Consequently, his PhD research focuses on The Impact of Economic Diplomacy on International Economic Flows

Badrun Nessa_1My name is Badrun Nessa Ahmed and I am a Bangladeshi.  I began my career as soon as I have finished my undergrad in Economics and got the opportunity to work with the most renowned economists of Bangladesh at Institute of Micro-Finance (InM). Prior to joining ISS, I have been working with Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) adjacent with Ministry of Planning, Government Republic of Bangladesh.

Gradually, I am trying to develop myself as a practitioner in the field of economic research and development and that’s why Institute of Social Studies (ISS) was my first choice for its reputation in the field of development studies. ISS enrich me through widening my experience with its structured program taught by first-rate professors. The faculty members treated us like colleagues at all times. Besides, the learning experience was unique and deeply enriching – the seminar discussions represented some of the most stimulating intellectual debates of recent time, which contributed much to broader my horizon of knowledge. My one and half year’s journey at ISS prepared me very well for academe and I am hoping to apply my experiences through my research for my country.

I am a student in the Economics of Development major (ECD), specializing in Econometric Analysis of Development Policies (EADP). The program was structured in such a way that it allowed me to rigorously explore my research interests.  I never had a hard time approaching anyone for help or advice on an idea I wanted to develop as my Masters’ thesis. The program is supportive yet challenging.  I never stopped working:  reading, thinking, and writing.  But, it’s the people in the program -the faculty and fellow students -that make the difference.  Everyone associated with the program is incredibly brilliant and generous in their time and attention.  Most importantly, the institution has high expectations and gives us every opportunity to meet those expectations.

The Experience I had travels with me wherever I go. I cannot imagine my career as a junior economist without the contribution of the people and relationships that ISS provided me.  Definitely, choosing ISS for Masters Study has truly been one of the best decisions I made.

Badrun Nessa Ahmed is Economics of Development (ECD) MA student batch of 2012/13.

ZelalemThe perceived risk of health expenditure is likely to play an important role in determining demand for health insurance. However, little is known about the perceptions and incidence of such risk and the extent to which such perceptions are based on realised health expenditure. This paper elicits and uses data on subjective expectations of health expenditure to explore and analyse the perceived risks of out-of-pocket (OOP) health expenditure and the role of such perceptions in influencing demand for insurance. We begin by describing how subjective expectations were elicited and examine the validity of the information. Subsequently, we examine the link between expected and realized OOP spending and whether uptake of a recently introduced community based health insurance (CBHI) scheme in rural Ethiopia is correlated with expected health expenditure. We find a weak and transient link between expected and realized OOP spending and a positive correlation between CBHI status and expected health expenditure. While CBHI status and expected health expenditure are correlated, the transient relationship between expected and actual OOP spending suggests that adverse selection is unlikely to exert a substantial effect on the financial viability of the CBHI scheme.

From: 17 December 2013 13:00
Till: 17  December 2013 14:00

Room: 4.42

Zelalem Yilma Debebe  is an  Ethiopian PhD candidate at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) Erasmus University Rotterdam. He holds an MA in Development Studies with Economics of Development specialization from the same Institute where he is pursuing his PhD studies. Besides, his BA is in Economics from Jimma University, Ethiopia.  His current PhD research is focuses on the welfare implications of ill-health and the role of community based health insurance in Ethiopia.

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.