I am a development economist and an economic historian. I am currently a visitor at the SOM Research Institute in Groningen.
My academic career started in 2011 when I received my PhD at Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Wien). Before that I worked for ten years with the International Red Cross in over a dozen countries in Africa, Asia, Central Europe and in Brussels.
My research focuses on the central problem of why economic reforms have often failed in developing countries in the 20th century and today. I address this question by looking into the role of local bureaucrats and international advisors who often lack expertise and training in implementing complex policies derived from practices in the industrialized world.
To estimate the effects of bureaucrats’ skill levels on economic and human development I use an entirely new dataset of over 14,000 British colonial officers which I have developed during my stay
Recently I teamed up with Prof. Peter Becker and his students (History Department, University of Vienna) and began to systematically interview remaining colonial officers still alive today. Project VOICES aims at recording the personal histories of over 100 former colonial officers and at publishing them in a digital humanities project.
Feel free get involved with ASNIE, an Austrian platform for scholars and students interested in institutions and development!