working papers War and Peace: Measuring conflict dynamics in the presence of peace accords in Africa

This paper assesses peace agreement negotiations and their role for signatory, non-state military actors. It uses original data on actor-level conflict events and peace agreement signatures, matched between ACLED and PA-X covering 43 countries in Africa during 1997 and 2019. Exploiting variation in the timing of signing across actors, I employ a two-step difference-in-difference design where panel event study estimates of 24 months ex post are compared to the ones 24 months ex ante accounting for differential trend of signatory actors. The signing of an agreement is associated with large reductions in conflict prevalence and intensity in areas of previous fighting by 53% and 31% six months after the signing, respectively. In contrast, the peace agreement signature had no measurable impact on the violent activity of the signatory groups in new locations of activity ex post.

Gone with the wind: the welfare effect of desert locust outbreaks with Stefano Tripodi (CBS)

Desert locust outbreaks and other pests pose a significant threat to food security for millions of people. In this paper we quantify the size of the productivity and welfare loss caused by a desert locust outbreak that hit Ethiopia in 2014. We identify the causal effect of locust swarms on agricultural output and children’s nutritional status by modelling swarms’ movements based on wind speed and direction to identify areas in which they likely land (affected areas). We corroborate our finding by using a “recentered” measure of exposure to swarms that removes potential bias due to non random exposure. We find that agricultural output is about 48 to 50% lower in areas hit by the shock compared to areas that are not affected. On average, children nutritional status is not negatively im- pacted by the shock, but each additional swarm affecting an enumeration area decreases BMI and weight-for-height z-scores by about 0.03 standard deviations, compared to chil- dren living in non affected areas. We find off-farm labour supply to act as potential coping strategy counter-vailing the negative agricultural shock.


work in progress The Effect of Peace on Economic Development
with Alex Armand (NOVA) and Galina Vysotskaya (NOVA)

Financial deepening and the informal economy: Evidence from local credit cycles in India
with Gabriel Zuellig (Swiss National Bank)
Air pollution and development in Africa
with Chenyan Lyu (CBS) and Stefano Tripodi (CBS)

Resource management and civil conflict