PhD Job Market Candidate (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam / Tinbergen Institute)
Fields: Political Economy, Corporate Finance, Applied Microeconometrics
Advisors: Professor Remco Oostendorp, Professor Chris Elbers
I am a PhD candidate in Economics at the Vrije Universiteit and Tinbergen Institute in Amsterdam. One major strand of my research investigates the impact of post-conflict reconstruction on insurgency, for which I spent November 2013 in Kabul conducting field interviews with reconstruction and development stakeholders. The other strand of my research focuses on corporate ownership, political connections, and board networks of publicly listed firms.
My PhD is funded by a competitive Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) grant. From September 2014 until May 2015, I held a Marie Curie research fellowship at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, as part of the PODER network. From May 2015 until August 2015, I visited the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
I will be available for interviews at the ASSA 2017 meetings in Chicago, and at the SAEe 2016 meetings in Bilbao.
Abstract: Field interviews conducted by the author in Afghanistan suggest current theories linking conflict to development do not adequately account for ideological drivers of resistance. We present a model demonstrating how reconstruction/development led by a foreign occupier can exacerbate violence through popular discontent, if projects are ideologically controversial. We test the model using detailed data on military-led reconstruction and public opinion from NATO, and a US-Government violence log covering Afghanistan from 2005 until 2009. We find projects in the health sector successfully alleviate violence, whereas those in the education sector actually provoke conflict. The destabilizing effects of education projects are strongest in conservative areas, where public opinion polls suggest education projects generate antipathy towards international forces. Further underscoring the role of local perceptions, project-driven violence appears to be homegrown, rather than sourced externally. Our findings do not support competing theories; are not driven by reverse causation; and are robust when considering many sources of endogeneity.
Changes to the ownership and control of East Asian corporations between 1996 and 2008: The primacy of politics. 2013. (with Richard W. Carney)
Journal of Financial Economics. (Finance and Accounting Memos version here).
The Economics of Peace and Security Journal.
Community preferences, insurgency, and the success of reconstruction spending. 2015. (with David Scoones)
Defence and Peace Economics.
(Guest Editor) On the ground: Field research from Afghanistan. 2015.
The Economics of Peace and Security Journal. Symposium: Afghanistan.
Business Networks and Crisis Performance: Professional, Political, and Family Ties. (with Richard W. Carney)
R&R: Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis.
The Shifting Ownership Structure of State-Owned Enterprises: Performance, Pyramids, and Political Regimes. (with Richard W. Carney, Wai-Man Liu, and Phong T.H. Ngo)
War and Social Attitudes: Revisiting Consensus Views. (with Elena Nikolova)
R&R: Conflict Management and Peace Science.