research papers

“Democracy and Aid Donorship” (with Andreas Fuchs), R&R at American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, forthcoming

Abstract: Almost half of the world’s states provide bilateral development assistance. While previous research takes the set of donor countries as exogenous, this article introduces a new dataset on aid giving covering all countries in the world, both rich and poor, and explores the determinants of aid donorship. It argues and shows empirically that democratic institutions support the setup of an aid program in richer countries but undermine its establishment in poorer countries. The findings hold in instrumental-variable regressions and the pattern is similar for the amount of aid.

Broken Promises – Evaluating an Incomplete Cash Transfer Program” (with Utz Pape and Laura Ralston) R&R at the European Economic Review [Working Paper: World Bank Policy Research Working Papers, No. 141859, September 2019]

Abstract: This study uses an unconditional cash grant program in South Sudan that had to be terminated due to re-erupting violence to assess the socio-economic, behavioral and psychological consequences of operational problems in development programs. We combine survey data from face-to-face interviews and experimental data. Results from TOT and LATE estimates show that participants that received the grants as intended display significant improvements in their consumption, savings and psychological wellbeing. While we find on average no negative effects for participants that failed to receive the grant, women of this subgroup show reduced levels of trust and were less likely to migrate.

“Move on up – Productivity Shocks and Internal Migration in Nigeria” [Working Paper: new version coming soon!]

Abstract: This study uses local productivity shocks from the large scale roll-out of electric transmission infrastructure in Nigeria during the years 2010 to 2015 to quantify the effect on internal migration. I exploit household panel data in combination with remote-sensing data to measure agricultural productivity and migration in transient villages that are located between two newly connected power substations. I further address endogenous grid location by creating a hypothetical grid based on least construction costs following advances in the transport infrastructure literature. Results show an increase in agricultural productivity and outward migration by 0.1 percent. To explain the increase in outward migration, I suggest two theoretical extension of the migration model by \citet{Bryan2018} and test these using a gravity model of migration.

collected works

“BRICS and Foreign Aid” (with Gerda Asmus and Andreas Fuchs) in The World Scientific Reference on the Economies of the BRICS Countries (edited by Soo Yoon Kim), World Scientific, Singapore.

[Working Paper Version: AidData Working Paper 43, August 2017]

work in progress

“On the Willingness to Pay for Clean Air — Which Incentives Matter Most?” (with Anca Balietti and Tillman Eymess)

“Seasonal Migration and Ambient Air Pollution in Mongolia” (with Anca Balietti, Till Baernighausen and Tillman Eymess)

The Political Economy of Emerging Donor Aid” (with Axel Dreher)