I’m a development economist at the University of East Anglia, UK. I received my PhD from the University of Nottingham in 2010, working on development aid supervised by Oliver Morrissey. I then held a two-year ESRC postdoc at UEA, before joining as faculty. In aid, I have published on allocation, migration, taxation, and payment by results.
I now mainly use experimental and behavioural economics to study decision making, often with the help of The Field Lab, Uganda. The common thread is the external social influence on a person’s decisions. This includes the domains of risk taking, social preferences, and lying. One social influence I have returned to several times is language.
(with Ben D'Exelle & Arjan Verschoor)
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 182: 297-310, 2021
(with Gabriele Restelli)
The World Economy, Forthcoming
Development Policy Review, 37(6):719-734, 2019
(with Arjan Verschoor)
Journal of Development Economics, 129:47-57, 2017
World Bank Research Observer, 31(2): 290-319, 2016
Development Policy Review, 34(3): 365-383, 2016
The World Economy, 38(5): 805–824, 2015
(with Oliver Morrissey & Alessia Isopi)
The Review of International Organizations, 7(3): 267-284, 2012
(with Oliver Morrissey)
Journal of International Development 23(2): 165-180, 2011
World Development, 39(10): 1724–1734, 2011
(with Ying-Yi Hong)
Revise & Resubmit
Early CBESS WP
(with Josh Hill)
Early CSAE Conference WP
(with Ben D'Exelle and Arjan Verschoor)
(with Ying-yi Hong)
My work on Payment by Results in International Development has helped shaped policy and practice, especially in the UK. This happened somewhat by accident, with relevant academic papers leading to consultancy work, which now lead to more academic papers. For a quick introduction to my thinking for a general audience, see:
A summary describing 12 principles, co-authored with Stefan Dercon, 2014
ELVAR, 2019-2021 A multi-year consultancy with ITAD, providing quality assurance and limited expert input. Evaluation of Payment by Results (ELVAR) for DFID’s Core Funding to UN Development, UN Humanitarian, and Red Cross & Red Crescent Movement agencies. For more see ITAD
Evaluating Results-Based Financing, 2019-2020 A short consultancy for Mokoro providing quality assurance and limited expert input. The project is for World Bank Evaluating Results-Based Financing in the Education Sector: Country Level Analysis, and looks at three countries.
Review of Payment by Results in DFID: Establishing the Evidence Base, 2017 A four month consultancy conducting a semi-systematic review of evidence of Payment by Results in International Development, and an investigation of how PBR evidence has been used within DFID. With colleagues at UEA, including Maren Duvendack and Brendan Whitty.
Evaluation of Results Based Aid in the Education Sector, Ethiopia, 2016 A short consultancy (c.10 days) overseeing a review of previous evaluation work, which led to a discovery of several fundamental problems with the data used. This fed into the project completion review.
Evaluation of Results Based Aid in the Education Sector, Rwanda, 2013-15 This was an exciting three-year project for DFID Rwanda, evaluating the effect of results based aid in Rwanda’s education system. This is one of the first evaluations of results based aid (a form of ‘cash on delivery’ aid). Upper Quartile led the bid, and I worked with colleagues at UEA. (c. 100 days) Final Report
Conceptual Basis for Payment by Results in International Development, 2013-2014 For DFID UK, a review of the conceptual basis for Payment by Results. This examines theoretically and conceptually new aid modalities. It deals with the interaction between donor and recipient, and makes use of relevant behavioural insights. (c. 20 days). There are several relevant outputs:
Evaluating Development Impact Bonds, 2014 For DFID UK, a study on Development Impact Bonds (DIBs). The first half of the report looks at their conceptual nature, using economic theory and related evidence (e.g. Social Impact Bonds, which have a longer history). The second half of the report looks at how they can be evaluated. Joint with Roger Drew. (30 days.)
International Aid and Domestic Tax Revenue, 2013-14 Following my 2011 publication examining the effects of aid grants and loans on domestic tax revenue, I returned to the subject for ICTD. The aim of the project was to investigate the source of contradictory results, predominately regarding aid grants, and led to a publication in the World Bank Research Observer (c. 80 days).
Aid and Government Spending, 2010-2011 Through CREDIT, the School of Economics, University of Nottingham. The work was for the AFD (L’Agence Française de Développement), and included 3 reports, which are currently not publicly available. My input was econometric. (c. 80 days)