» Archive for category: ‘New Staff

papyrakisDr. Elissaios (Eliseos) Papyrakis will be joining the ‘Economics of Development and Emerging Markets’ research group on the 1st of September. He is a development macroeconomist, whose main research interests lie in the intersection of economic growth and environmental issues. His work involves both theoretical and empirical analysis. Much of his research has focused on the long-term economic growth processes of developing economies, in particular with reference to those exporting mineral resources. His ongoing and recent research concerns development issues linked to mineral extraction, gender inequality, ethnic fragmentation, globalisation, disasters risk, climate change, and marine conservation. Much of his research is based on cross-country comparative analysis and he has extensive work experience in the developing world (Ethiopia, Zambia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Laos). He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, an MSc in Economics from the University of Bristol (cum laude) and a BSc in International Economics from the Athens University of Economics and Business. He is also affiliated with the School of International Development of the University of East Anglia.

Matthias RiegerDr. Matthias Rieger is a micro-development economist with interests in experimental economics and applied econometrics. He is joining the ISS as Assistant Professor in Development Economics. Previously he was post-doctoral Max Weber Fellow (training program funded by the European Commission) in Economics at the European University Institute, Florence. He received his PhD in International Economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, in 2013. Matthias is also an academic associate with the Development Impact Evaluation Initiative at the World Bank and has conducted impact evaluations and household surveys in Morocco, the Central African Republic, Cambodia and Burundi. At the ISS, Matthias will work on his research projects on social capital, health and economic development. Papers are forthcoming in international field journals like Economic Development and Cultural Change, Economics and Human Biology, as well as interdisciplinary journals such as The Journals of Gerontology and Feminist EconomicsPersonal website: http://matthiasrieger.weebly.com/

Martí Orta_EDEM_Post_DocMartí Orta holds a B.Sc. in Biology (University of Barcelona) and PhD in Environmental Sciences -Ecological Economics (Autonomous University of Barcelona). In 2014 he completed a Marie Curie International Fellowship at the Documentation Centre on Environmental Conflicts at Rome. His research has focused, in a broad sense, on sustainable management of tropical rainforests, remote sensing, ethnocartography and participatory monitoring of extractive industry impacts, accountability of social and environmental liabilities of oil companies and oil frontier expansion. Martí has 8 years of experience working on environmental impacts of petroleum-related activities in the Achuar and Kichwa territories (Peruvian Amazon). He has also worked on governance of environmental resources and services, ethno-ecology and biodiversity management involving indigenous people.

Mariana Walter_EDEMMariana Walter holds a degree in Urban Ecology from the Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and a master´s degree in Environmental Studies (Ecological Economics) from ICTA-UAB (Autonomous University of Barcelona). In a month she defends her PhD at ICTA. Her research addresses mining conflicts in Latin America, environmental justice movements, social metabolism, expert-lay knowledge interplay, institutional change at different scales and the role of decision-making procedures in environmental conflicts. She has taken part in research projects in Argentina (UNGS) and Europe (ALARM, CEECEC, ENGOV, EJOLT).



On Friday, September 07 ECD/EDEM post-doc Natacha Wagner defended her thesis entitled “Three essays on the fetters to development” at the Graduate Institute, Geneva. Her committee consisted of her supervisor Jean-Louis Arcand (Graduate Institute), the internal reader Lore (Graduate Institute) and the external reader Mark Rosenzweig (Yale University). She received a summa cum laude on her dissertation and a magna cum laude on the defense.

Natascha’s thesis tackles three distinct obstacles to development from a microeconomic perspective and acknowledges that fetters to development are manifold. She shows that cutting through the fetters to development needs studies of their respective mechanisms and understanding of their dynamics. The first chapter looks at the dynamics of child health by linking two commonly used child health indicators, namely weight-for-age and height-for-age Z-scores. In the second chapter, the question why female genital cutting (FGC) still persist is addressed. Existing Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data for 13 African countries is pooled to disentangle the determinants, social outcomes and long-term health consequences associated with FGC. Finally, in the third chapter local electoral dynamics in rural Senegal are examined and how these are linked to the fiscal cycle.

Child height-for-age (HAZ) and weight-for-age (WAZ) Z-scores are standard measures for studying the determinants of stunting and short-term underweight. Rather than studying these indicators separately,  their dynamic interaction is considered in an overlapping generations model that features self-productivity of health stock and the dynamic complementarity between past health stocks and contemporaneous nutrition inputs. Results are tested against a Senegalese panel of 305 children. Simulations based on the panel estimates show that a positive, one-time nutritional boost during the first six months of life is essentially depleted at the age of 2. Consequently, sustainable development and nutrition programs have to be long-term and yield higher returns if they are to reach infants early on.

Female Genital Cutting (FGC) remains a pervasive practice in many sub-Saharan African countries. Using cross-sectional data from 13 African countries, the determinants of FGC as well as the social outcomes associated with this practice in terms of marriageability and health risks are studied.  In a game-theoretic approach, the possible channels through which FGC persists as a common community practice are developed, namely by increasing reputation and strengthening identity despite causing health problems. Employing conditional logistic regressions, it is demonstrated that by far the main determinant of FGC is ethnic identity. In addition, being cut increases marriage prospects by almost 50%. While negative health consequences are often used as an argument against FGC, no evidence can be found for general health impairments  or decreased fertility. However, cut women are more likely to have sexually transmitted (STDs) and genital diseases.

More than 50 years after Senegal’s independence from France, its political system qualifies, at most, as semi-democratic. In this chapter, budgetary data for a sample of 171 communes around the 2002 local elections are analyzed in order to study the interdependence of local electoral dynamics and fiscal spending. Employing the trimmed least absolute deviations (LAD) model, only moderate evidence can be found suggesting a political budget cycle in local elections.   New political leadership alongside existing infrastructure programs bolsters the expansion of the road network while being disinclined to settle previous investment expenses. Around elections, lower tax revenues are projected, however, these anticipated tax benefits do not materialize. Rather, in the medium-run, political change is associated with real tax increases.”


Category: New Staff

29 Jun 2012

Irene van Staveren recently joined the new ISS research programme Economics of Development and Emerging Markets (EDEM).

Irene’s most recent working paper tests the Lehman Sisters Hypothesis. This hypothesis, often posed in political discussions about the origins of the financial crisis, states that if women had run the banks, we would not have had this crisis. She will present this paper tomorrow at the annual conference of the International Association For Feminist Economics, held in Barcelona this year. The paper reviews relevant empirical literature on gender differences in economic behaviour and does an empirical test among Dutch bankers. This is an exploratory survey among 111 financial professionals asking about attitudes before and since the crisis. The results confirm the hypothesis but need further support from additional empirical research with representative samples.

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.