» Archive for category: ‘MA students

ECD RPThis week, the 2013/2014 MA ECD students will present first draft of their research papers. The Economics of Development students will present their preliminary findings in the areas of the two main specialization: Econometric Analysis of Development Policy and the Global Economy. An overview of the research areas in progress are:

The privatisation of markets management in Kampala City and its implications on the informal market vendors (Ruth Abesiga, Uganda)

The effect of trade liberalization policy on food security in Bangladesh (Sabiha Afrin, Bangladesh)

An Investigation of Macroeconomic Determinants and Trends of domestic private investment: evidence from Ethiopia (Esubalew Tadele Agidew , Ethiopia)

The dynamics f inflation in Ethiopia: Empirical Analysis since 1999-2013 G.C. (Habtamu Getnet Altasseb, Ethiopia)

Global Inequality, Global Institutions and Power (Holger Apel, German)

Determinants of food insecurity in Rural Ethiopia (Hiwot Yirgu Astemir, Ethiopia)

Quantitative Easing & Recapitalization Policies of the Federal Reserve: Promises and Outcomes in the Wake of the Great Recession (Julia Buchik, America)

Impacts of Aid or Official Development Assistance (ODA) on Afghanistan Economic Perfomance since 2001 (Mohammad Rahman Fazily, Afghanistan)

Informal Economy, Institutions and Credit Systems in Egypt, Tunisia, ad occupied Palestinian Territories. A case study (Andrea Floridi, Italy)

Determinates of off-farm activities and its income in rural Ethiopia (Tesfaye Yohannes Gagabo, Ethiopia)

Scale and technical efficiency of Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (Solomon Demissie Gizaw, Ethiopia)

Financial development and conflict: a cross-country analysis (Md Rashel Hasan, Bangladesh)

Maternal Education and Child Health in Ethiopia (Kedir Yesuf Hassen, Ethiopia)

An analysis of intra-group economic inequalities among different ethnic groups In Nepal (Bimala Kafle Wagle, Nepal)

Have regulation policy intitiatives implemented by FIFA institutions reinforced processes of labour migration from the global South (periphery) to the Northern (core) countries? (Francesco Mariotti, Italy)

Does the formal economic tie with the South African economy bring economic (benefits) growth to the Namibian economy? (Abigail Vijandjua Nainda, Namibia)

To investigate the effects of exchange rate on the current account balances: comparison of Kenya and Tanzania (Grephas Onyango Ogutu, Kenya)

Integration of ports in global supply chains (Jessica Saat, Netherland)

Payroll tax and employement in Brazil (Clovis Roberto Scherer, Brazil)

Manufacturing sector productivity during times of hyperinflation. A case of Zimbabwe’s manufacturing firms (Puruweti Siyakiya, Zimbabwe)

The effect of foreign aid on domestic private investment growth in the eastern African countries (Dereje Mossie Terefe, Ethiopia)

Assessment of Factors affecting cost control in Rwandan Manufacturing Firms (Carine Uwitonze, Rwanda)

ECD 2014/15 Students

Category: MA students

29 Aug 2014

Congratulation Economics of Development!

ECD logoThe latest number of students of Economics of Development for the 2014/15 academic year is 49, of which 23 male and 26 female from 19 countries. This level is the highest in history of the specialization. The specialization provides students with the theoretical knowledge, policy awareness, and analytical techniques to tackle many of the key issues facing their countries in respect of economic development and economic policy analysis.

     Country                       Male     Female       Students by Country

  1. Bangladeshi            2              0               2
  2. Chinese                  0              1               1
  3. Colombian              0              1               1
  4. Costa Rica              1              0               1
  5. Dutch                     1               0               1
  6. Eritrean                 1               0               1
  7. Ethiopian               1               0               1
  8. German                  1               0               1
  9. Ghanaian               0               1               1
  10. Indian                  2               0               2
  11. Indonesian          10            18             28
  12. Kenyan                 0               0              1
  13. Mexican                1               0              1
  14. Nicaraguan          0               1               1
  15. Russian                1               0              1
  16. Sudanese            1                0              1
  17. Tanzania             2                0              2
  18. Ugandan             0                1              1
  19. Zambian              0               1              1




ECD-Double Degree participants  closing ceremony
































Enjoying a small snack and a drink





















On 10 June, 2014 the current ECD students met for the Negotiation Game: International Macroeconomic Policy Coordination.

Objectives of the Negotiation Game:

  • to discuss the current state of the world economy and identify its problems,
  • to identify main problems in policy coordination and identify advantages of coordinated action and
  • to draft a joint plan of action to improve global economic conditions. This plan addressed the following issues:
    • How to handle the global recovery and how to prevent future instability? What types of fiscal, monetary and exchange rate policies are required and how can they be coordinated?
    • Which financial regulatory reforms are necessary to deal with the financial crisis and prevent future crises? Should these steps be taken at national level or at the global level?
    • What reforms are necessary in IMF facilities, conditionality and governance for it to play a constructive role?
    • What should be done to ensure that low-income countries be able to reduce poverty and achieve the MDGs in the face of global instability and recession?

The meeting take place the form of a negotiation where through convincing arguments the net gains from international policy coordination assessed and a joint plan of action adopted.

International Macroeconomic Policy Coordination


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Delegates of International Monetary Fund (Chair and Secretariat)

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Delegates of Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa (BIIS)

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Delegates of China









Delegates of European Union (EU)








Delegates of United State of America (USA)

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Delegates of Least Developed Countries (LDCs)








Negotiation Game delegates

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BlogMinisters, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am very pleased to address this first meeting of the IMF, and especially to have the opportunity to congratulate Rahman Fazli as he assumes one of the leading seats of the organization at this important period for economic development.

The IMF and its policy dialogue with its 188 members finds key synergies with the WTO and the World Bank. Our three institutions’ actively collaborate both to advance the growth of world trade and to achieve coherence in global economic policymaking. The joint statement by the heads of the three organizations bears testimony to the importance of integrating international efforts in support of global development strategies, a strong multilateral trading system, and a sound international monetary and financial system. But such collaboration is only a part of a broader coherence–in the policymaking of all members of the international community–that brings trade together with macroeconomic, financial and development policies into a cohesive whole.

Mr. Chairman, Ministers, we have a tremendous opportunity for progress at this very moment in time. The crisis that loomed so large little more than six years ago is behind us, a little more quickly than we dared to anticipate, offering a window of opportunity to take far-sighted actions for the long-term development and stability of the international economy. We must therefore take new steps to allow people to achieve their potential. That they can do only in a growing economy. The growth of trade has been one of the main engines of economic growth in the extraordinary half-century now drawing to a close–and further growth in trade will help sustain growth and reduce poverty, worldwide.

The world needs an ambitious, far-reaching global trade round for three compelling reasons: to sustain the recovery of world economic activity; to support the continuing reform of the international monetary and financial system; and to deliver a major impetus in the global offensive on poverty. The international community has already taken many steps in these areas, acting in a decisive cooperative fashion, in a spirit of enlightened self-interest to strengthen the international monetary and financial system. This same spirit needs to be brought to the new round of trade negotiations to carry forward the work on strengthening the international economy. Let me elaborate briefly.

First, we are now seeing a cyclical upturn in many parts of the world. The recovery needs to be sustained and broadened. This is a golden opportunity to strengthen and prolong it and to move to a new level of high-quality growth and development. Ministers, you know–and have proved–that trade facilitates growth and the transfer of knowledge and technology. In short, open economies prosper. Countries at all stages of development have demonstrated it time and again: whether it was undertaken within the negotiated multilateral setting of the WTO, or on a unilateral basis by the many developing, transition and emerging market economies that have clearly recognized the potential of more liberal trade. Trade has been one of the main engines of world growth. Every country that has grown fast in the last half-century did so through a strategy of integration with the world economy centered on trade. And thankfully, even in the midst of the recent crisis–one of the greatest threats to national and global prosperity in the past 50 years–countries resisted protectionist pressures. But, it is necessary now to go beyond a passive resistance to protectionism, and to initiate an ambitious round of trade liberalization.

Second, far-sighted trade liberalization is an indispensable element in building a robust global economic system for the long-term. Without the foundation of more liberal trade, the efforts by governments and international agencies to strengthen the international monetary and financial architecture will be rendered less effective. In this work, we aspire to a sound international monetary and financial system conducive to free, but orderly, international capital movements, based on sound national financial systems and equitable, transparent policymaking. But a world of more mobile capital that is not accompanied by a regime of progressively more open, freer–and hence more efficient–trade in goods and services, is a world that may become more vulnerable to the risk of recurring crisis.

As a specific example, consider the benefits that would follow if the round promotes further liberalization of trade in financial services, and leads to an improved institutional framework for such liberalization. Competition in financial services, including from foreign sources, supported by a robust modern regulatory and supervisory framework and sound macroeconomic policies, is a vital source of dynamism for countries’ financial sectors. By encouraging modernization and by promoting international standards and good risk management practices, this aspect of the new trade round can contribute directly to a more stable international system.

Third–and if I were to stress one point alone, this would be it–trade, through its contribution to sustained high-quality growth, is vital for the lasting reduction of poverty. For poverty can be seen as the ultimate systemic threat. Ministers, your governments are committed to helping the developing countries, especially the poorest, to integrate more fully into the world economy so as to promote sustained growth and development. To this end, the international community has actively endorsed the enhancement of the Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs). Imagine, of the 135 members of the WTO, 74 have pledged support to the HIPC Initiative. Your governments have agreed to the establishment of the IMF’s new Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility focused on the needs of the poorest. And governments have repeatedly pledged to achieve many ambitious economic and social objectives aimed at reducing poverty during the next fifteen years, as I reminded the Annual Meetings of the IMF two months ago. But, even if all these initiatives are implemented fully, they will be seriously weakened if the developing countries are not given the most fundamental opportunity: to produce and export a growing range of goods and services, to benefit from the higher volume of imports that would then be possible, and above all to realize two of the most basic of human needs–the opportunity of employment and the availability of a “living wage.”

That is why particular attention during this new trade round must be brought to bear on the developing countries, and their integration into the global trading system. Their export potential, particularly in agriculture, continues to face significant barriers in industrial country markets–for example, tariff protection for agriculture in industrial country markets is some 5 times higher than for manufacturers. Providing unrestricted market access for all exports from the poorest countries, including the HIPCs, should receive priority and be brought to an early resolution so that the poorest countries can begin to benefit without delay. They account for such a small proportion of world trade–less than one half of one percent–that such access would not be costly or unduly disruptive.

In closing, let me simply reiterate that it is only through a truly cooperative approach–one that ensures that trade, development, macroeconomic and financial policies are mutually supporting–that we will be able to make lasting progress on the most pressing issue facing humanity at the end of the 21th Century–reducing poverty. Let us work together to this end.


Delegates of the International Monetary Fund:

Claudia Lucia Lopez Pineda

Grephas Onyango Ogutu

Mohammad Rahman Fazily

Abigail Vijandjua Nainda



Henry Tugendhat an organizer at Rethinking Economics visited the International Institute of Social Studies of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam – ISS – in The Hague for a presentation of ‘Rethinking Economics‘. An international network of economic students, thinkers and citizens, including those with no previous training economics who are organizing to create fresh economic narratives to challenge and enrich the predominant neoclassical narrative. The presentation began with an introduction of how ´Rethinking Economics´ is attempting to diversify and demystify economics in the public eye; by educating students in a more reflective economics and changing the curriculum at Universities. Previous to this introduction, Dr. Howard Nicholas commented on the current issues of teaching economics by mentioning the difficulties to achieve a more pluralistic view within economics at the universities around the world. Relevant questions came out during the event by the participants such as the possible implications of commoditization of academic research papers and the limitations of using quantitative methods as a research tool. This event was part of a series of activities organized by Economics of Development major 2013-2014. 







ECD logoAre you thirsty for new ways of thinking about economics? Do you think the economics we have been studying does not fit the economy we are living in?

The ECD Major would like to invite you to a special session of “Rethinking Economics,” an international community of economic students, thinkers and citizens, including those with no previous training in economics, who are organizing to create fresh economic narratives to challenge and enrich the predominant neoclassical narrative.

Henry Tugendhat, one of the members of Rethinking Economics in London, will provide an interesting introduction to the aim, activities and how to get involved with this organization. Howard Nicholas will be present to comment on the issue of teaching economics today.

When: 3rd April 2014

Time: 16:00-17:30

Venue: Room 3.14

More information on Rethinking Economics can be found here

About the speakers:

Henry_Tugendhat Henry Tugendhat is an organizer at Rethinking Economics in London. He comes from a development studies background and works as a research officer on agricultural development and Africa-China engagements at the Institute of Development Studies, based in the University of Sussex. ​



Howard_1Howard Nicholas a Senior Lecturer in Economics and a Convenor of the ECD Programme, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam.

The graduates waiting for the diploma









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Enjoying the drink and congratulation messages during the graduation reception

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The ECD farewell dinner following the graduation ceremony
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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

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.

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.