» Archive for category: ‘PhD

Profile_Picture_2EDEM PhD researcher Binyam Afewerk Demena presented a paper entitled “A Meta-Analysis of FDI and Productivity Spillovers in Developing Countries” at the 8th annual MAER-Net Colloquium held in University of Athens, Greece on September 11-13 2014.  The conference is co-organized by the department of Economics, University of Athens and the Meta-Analysis of Economics Research Network (MEAT-Net). MAER-Net is an international network of scholars who specialize in Meta-analysis. The purpose of the colloquium is to share ideas and methods among meta-analysts and to encourage young scholars to use Meta-analysis.

This study reviews the intra-sectoral heterogeneity of productivity spillovers from FDI in a large sample of developing countries. I investigate publication selection bias, and estimate the true underlying empirical FDI-spillover effects. I collect 1,450 spillover estimates conducted by 93 researchers from 69 empirical studies dealing with 31 developing countries for the period of 1986 to 2013. My results suggest that FDI-spillover effects are tainted with moderate to substantial publication bias. In combination with model misspecifications of the primary studies, the bias overstates the true underlying Meta-effect by about 48 per cent of the actual magnitude of the effect size. Once the biases have been corrected, the Meta-effect in the context of developing countries is economically significant. Most importantly, I find that spillovers and their sign depend systematically on the heterogeneity of method and publication characteristics. Furthermore, empirical work disregarded the argument that spillovers requires analysis of the transmission channels through which they actually occur. It does allow to narrow the heterogeneity nature of spillover estimates. Results are robust for different methods.

RicardoThe rector of the International Institute of Social Studies requests the pleasure of your company at the Public Defence of EDEM PhD researcher Mr Ricardo de Sousa.

Chair: Professor dr. Leo de Haan

Promotor: Professor dr. Mansoob Murshed

Promotor: Professor dr. Mohamed Salih


Members of the Plenary Doctoral Committee:

Professor dr. Patrick Regan Joan Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies
Professor dr. Scott Gates Peace Research Institute of Oslo and Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Professor dr. Han Dorussen University of Essex
Professor dr. Peter van Bergeijk
Professor dr. Wil Hout


Abstract English

Abstract Dutch


When: 19 September 2014
Time: 16:00 – 18:00
Venue: Aula B



RafaelaPolicy usually does not happen the same way in the streets as it is planned to be on paper. Rather than interpreting these differences in terms of mistakes or implementation problems, this study proposes to look at variations as results of inevitable and strategic decisions street level workers take in order to turn paper policy into practice. Paper policy rules, goals and regulations engage with workers’ discretionary territories, where workers exercise their own judgements on both problem definitions and possible solutions. Using a street level bureaucracy approach this study assumes that workers’ discretion has a central role in understanding the processes through which public policies come into grounded existence. However, it challenges the two current explanations of workers’ discretion as determined by unintended spaces in organizational rules (Lipsky 1980) or individual clients’ characteristics (Maynard-Moody and Musheno 2000), by proposing a more integrated and nuanced approach.

To illustrate these processes the research focuses on the field of policies towards so-called problem drugs (crack cocaine and heroin).  Historically, many governments have supported repressive policies involving enforcement of prohibitionist laws, and (only) abstinence models of treatment, aiming at eradicating drugs from society(Marlatt 1998). This public order approach treats drug use as a criminal issue, to be treated with punishment and repression. The global debate on drug policies has expanded to include public health and citizenship rights considerations, which focus on reducing harms caused by drug use and trade rather than expecting to completely ban it.

Amsterdam (in the Netherlands) and Porto Alegre (in Brazil) are offered as interesting cases to analyse how these different approaches are negotiated and decisions are made by street level workers. The research focuses on  social, health and law enforcement State supported workers to analyse the dilemmas workers encounter in their daily interactions with drug users, and how they develop strategies to cope with them. Ethnographic techniques were used to gather testimony and directly observe eighty street level workers from 40 different services in the health, social and law enforcement sectors were interviewed in depth, combined with 800 hours of observation of their activities between February 2010 and March 2011.

The research found workers making strategic decisions through processes of interpretation, comparison and negotiation. Inspired by Foucauldian studies on governmentality (e.g. Dean 2010), the conclusions suggest workers’ decisions are driven by dynamic processes linking their personal perceptions of societal values on drug use, managerial and resource constraints, and relational networking experiences with other workers inside and outside their immediate organizations and users. In these processes, different meanings and practices of public health and public order are continuously created in Amsterdam and Porto Alegre with their very different histories of, and resources for, drug interventions. But there are similarities in the underlying processes patterning how discretion is exercised and the experiences of users caught between care and order.

 The FDS Committee consists of:

Chair Professor dr. Irene van Staveren
Promotor Professor dr. Arjun Bedi 
Promotor, University of Amsterdam Professor dr. Dirk Korf
Co-promotor Dr John Cameron     
Senior External Discussant Professor dr. Tony Evans 
Senior Internal Discussant Professor dr. Des Gasper
PhD Discussant Ms Angelica Maria Ocampo Talero


When: 5th September  2014

Time: 13:00 – 15:00

Venue: Room 4.39




CapeIt is argued that China’s recent official initiatives to establish special economic zones (SEZs) in Africa may present a new possibility of redirecting the trend of deindustrialization of the continent. The migration of labour-intensive manufacturing activities from China that has begun to suffer from the rising labour shortage may bring forth the hope of activating the Flying geese paradigm to Africa. However, these SEZs have been confronted with various difficulties in playing a catalytic role for local industrial development. While many of these difficulties have emanated from neither the host countries or China, others are coming from the political and cultural elements from the relations. The prospects of African industrialization seems to remain a hopeful thinking as long as these difficulties are to be effectively dealt with.


From: 01 July 2014 13:00
Till:    01 July 2014 14:00

Room: 4.42

Shigehisa Kasahara is a PhD candidate in Development Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam (EUR) in the Netherlands. He retired from the United Nations Conference Trade and Development (UNCTAD) secretariat at the end of May 2013, after having served for the organization nearly 25 years. During the professional career as an economist, he was almost always in the area of research and publication for the organization, such as the flagship publications, the Trade and Development Report, the Economic Development in Africa Report, etc. His professional interests cover a wide range of international political economy: development economics, trade and development, international trade regimes, trade development diplomacy, the role of the state (development policy), regional integration, industrialization, East Asian development (the Flying Geese paradigm), Africa, Least Developed Countries (LDCs), foreign direct investment (FDI), global value chains, institutional history of UNCTAD, etc.

Zaman_NEPSMuhammad Badiuzzaman, EDEM PhD researcher, presented a paper: Conflict and Livelihood Decisions in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh at The 14th Jan Tinbergen European Peace Science Conference, annual meeting of the Network of European Peace Scientists (NEPS), on 23rd -25th of June 2014 at the International Institute of Social Studies. The conference is organized by members of the NEPS Steering Committee, in cooperation with Prof. Mansoob Murshed.

We analyze rural household livelihood and child school enrolment decisions in the post-conflict setting of the Chittagong Hill Tracts region of Bangladesh. The innovation of the paper lies in the fact that we employ information about current subjective perceptions regarding the possibility of violence in the future and past actual experiences of violence to explain household economic decision-making. Preferences are endogenous in line with behavioural economics. Regression results show that heightened subjective perceptions of future violence and past actual experiences of conflict influence current consumption, child enrolment and could encourage risky mixed crop cultivation. The trauma emanating from past experiences combined with current high perceptions of risk of violence may induce bolder and riskier behaviour in line with prospect theories of risk. Furthermore, a post-conflict household-level Phoenix or economic revival factor may be in operation, based partially on greater within group trust.

Authors: Muhammad Badiuzzaman and Syed Mansoob Murshed

The NEPS is a network of scholars committed to the advancement of Peace Research in Europe. In line with Peace Science tradition, the NEPS welcomes scholars from an interdisciplinary community from a variety of disciplines such as economics, political science, regional science, mathematics, and history. Since 2000 NEPS holds an annual conference entitled ‘Jan Tinbergen European Peace Science Conference”.

Zelalem YEDEM PhD researcher Zelalem Yilma Debebe presented a paper entitled “Channels of Impoverishment due to Ill-Health in Rural Ethiopia” at the Nordic Conference on Development Economics held in Helsinki, Finland on the 16th and 17th of June, 2014. The conference is co-organized by Aalto University School of Business and UNU-WIDER in collaboration with the Nordic Network in Development Economics.

This paper uses three years of household level panel data and event history interviews conducted in Ethiopia to analyse the effect of a variety of ill-health measures on household economic outcomes. We begin by examining the immediate effects of ill-health on health expenditure and labor supply, subsequently, we examine household coping responses and finally we examine the effect on household income and consumption. We find substantial financial burden in terms of increased health expenditure and income losses. Households cope by resorting to intra-household labor substitution, hiring wage labour, borrowing and depleting assets. While households are able to maintain food consumption, non-food consumption is not fully protected against certain measures of ill-health. This effect is larger for households with the lowest ability to self-insure. Maintaining current consumption through borrowing and depletion of assets and savings is unlikely to be sustainable and displays the need for interventions that work towards reducing the financial consequences of ill-health.

Authors: Zelalem YilmaAnagaw Mebratie, Robert Sparrow, Marleen Dekker, Getnet Alemu, and Arjun S. Bedi

Lead author: Zelalem Yilma Debebe


bg_logoboxThe 14th Jan Tinbergen European Peace Science Conference, annual meeting of the Network of European Peace Scientists (NEPS), will be held on 23rd -25th June 2014 at the International Institute of Social Studies.

This program has been arranged by members of the NEPS Steering Committee, in cooperation with Prof. Mansoob Murshed. Murshed will chair a session besides presenting paper (parallel session 4). He is invited as a panel discussant for launching ceremony of Global Peace Index-2014.

Prof. Bergeijk will chair a session besides presenting paper (parallel session 8). His paper is on “Methodological change in economic sanction reconsidered and its implication” with Muhammad Shahadat Hossain Siddiquee, University of Dhaka.

Ricardo Sousa, EDEM PhD researcher is going to present a paper on “Effect of external interventions in intra-state conflicts in Africa after the end of the cold-war”. He is also working as a research assistant for this conference.

Muhammad Badiuzzaman, EDEM PhD researcher is going to present a paper on “Conflict and livelihood decisions in the Chittagong Hill tracts of Bangladesh”. He is also working as a research assistant for this conference.

Eri Ikeda, EDEM PhD researcher is working as research assistant for this conference.

Details of the programme

Koen VoorendCosta Rica provides a unique setting in the Global South to study the migration-social policy nexus in general, and the globalist claim with regards to human rights agenda’s and migration in particular. First, in relative terms, it is the largest net recipient of migrants in Latin America (UN, 2009), with a migrant ‘stock’ of about 9 percent of the total population in 2011 (INEC, 2011). Second, Costa Rica has a strong state-led social protection system (Martínez Franzoni, 2008), based on principles of solidarity and universalism. Third, this social protection regime has been in deterioration since the 1980s, when the state was left in a weaker position to provide social protection (idem), but especially since 2011 when its emblematic social security and healthcare institution, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), entered into a severe financial crisis. Finally, while immigrants’ claim to Costa Rica’s welfare benefits has been a contested issue for long (Sandoval, 2008), more recently voices of welfare chauvinism have surged as especially Nicaraguan immigrants are blamed for the CCSS’s financial hardship (Voorend, 2013; Bonilla-Carrión, 2008).

In this context, this presentation discusses some initial findings of PhD fieldwork for research on Migration and Social Policy in Costa Rica. Specifically, it will discuss policy reactions to migration, perceptions of migration and the perceived legitimacy of claims to welfare resources, and immigrants’ access (on paper and in practice) to Costa Rica’s universal healthcare system, the flagship institution of the country’s social policy regime.

From: 24 June 2014 13:00
Till:    24 June 2014 14:00

Room: 4.42

Speaker: Koen Voorend

Koen Voorend  holds an MA in Development Studies, Economics of Development, of the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), where he is currently pursuing his doctoral studies. He is fellow of the Settling into Motion program of the  Zeit Foundation in Hamburg, and works as a researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, of the University of Costa Rica. His research is on the relations between migration and social policy, welfare regimes in Latin America and inequality. Recent publications include: ¿Universal o Excluyente? Derechos sociales y control migratorio interno en Costa Rica (CLACSO, 2013); and with Juliana Martínez Franzoni: ‘Who cares in Nicaragua? A care regime in an exclusionary social policy context’ en Razavi, S. (ed.) Seen, heard and counted. Rethinking care in a development context (2012); ‘Actors and ideas behind CCTs in Chile, Costa Rica and El Salvador’ (Global Social Policy, 2011) y, ‘Are coalitions equally important for redistribution in Latin America? The intervening role of welfare regimes’ in Blofield, M. (ed.) The Great Gap. Inequality and the Politics of Redistribution in Latin America (2011).

Zelalem YLead author ISS (EDEM) PhD researcher Zelalem Yilma Debebe

In mid-2011, the Government of Ethiopia launched a pilot Community-Based Health Insurance (CBHI) scheme in thirteen rural districts. Among others, the aims of the scheme are to increase access to health care and to reduce household vulnerability to unexpected out-of-pocket health expenditure. Against this background the current paper uses three rounds of household survey data collected before and after the introduction of CBHI in pilot and control districts and assesses the impact of the scheme on household consumption, income, indebtedness and livestock holdings. We find that enrolment leads to a 5 percentage point or 16 percent decline in the probability of borrowing and is associated with an increase in household income. There is no evidence that enrolling in the scheme affects consumption or livestock holdings. Our results show that the scheme reduces reliance on harmful and less preferred coping responses, such as borrowing. This paper adds to the relatively small body of work which rigorously evaluates the impact of CBHI schemes on economic welfare.

The paper presented at the Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics, June 2-3 2014, World Bank Headquarter, Washington DC, USA

Authors: Zelalem Yilma, Anagaw Mebratie, Robert Sparrow, Marleen Dekker, Getnet Alemu, and Arjun S. Bedi

RicardoExternal interventions in civil wars are a recurrent practice of the international community, executed through a series of mechanisms—most notably, military, economic or diplomatic interventions (with UN and non-UN missions being a combination of these). Studies of these interventions have focused on how effective they are in stopping civil war or maintaining peace. Despite the focus of these studies, the effect these interventions have on conflict intensity is still unclear. Additionally studies have not appropriately controlled for the endogeneity of the relationship between interventions and conflict. Conflicts’ characteristics attract interventions, and interventions influence conflict characteristics. Based on a balance of the capability of the conflict parties model, this paper explores the effect of interventions on conflict-intensity levels and conflict-intensity changes. It uses a new dataset on external interventions for Africa for the period between 1989 and 2010. The regression results, based on a zero-inflated negative binomial and logit models controlling for endogeneity, indicate that partisan, military and economic interventions increase conflict intensity whereas neutral and diplomatic interventions have no effect on conflict intensity. In fact, after controlling for endogeneity, successful or failed mediation is found to have no significant effect on conflict intensity. The conclusion is that more detailed research needs to be conducted to understand the unexpected effect of diplomacy and interventions’ objectives.


From: 03 June 2014 13:00
Till:    03 June 2014 14:00

Room: 4.42

Ricardo Real Pedrosa de Sousa is a PhD candidate in Development Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam (EUR) in the Netherlands. He is also part of the Research School in Peace and Conflict (PRIO / NTNU / UiO) in Norway and associated with the African Studies Center (CEA) of ISCTE – Lisbon University Institute  in Portugal as a researcher on conflict. (ISCTE-IUL).

He has a Master of Science in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London, a post-graduation diploma of advanced studies in African Studies and a Bachelor (Hons) degree in Corporate Organization and Management both from ISCTE-IUL. 

With a background in management for corporate transformation, he had assignments in the private sector, public sector and civil society, as well as in multilateral institutions as a development practitioner. More recently, he has been involved in research projects regarding the dynamics of the political economy of conflict in Angola and in the Horn of Africa. The PhD research focus on the effect of external interventions on conflict intensity based on an analysis of Africa’s conflicts since the end of the Cold War.

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.