Research Overview

My fundamental research objective is to help reduce unnecessary human suffering manifest in ill health, malnutrition, poverty, and vulnerability to disasters. In this world of plenty, almost half the world's six billion people live on two dollars a day or less. Between one third and one half suffer undernutrition due to insufficient intake of calories, protein or critical micronutrients such as vitamin A, iodine and iron. More than one child in five lives in acute poverty, a disturbing fact to this father of five. Natural disasters appear to be growing in frequency and intensity, and affecting more people than ever, especially the poorest people in the world’s most remote places. These challenges afflict rural populations in Africa and Asia disproportionately, so my group’s work focuses mainly on those regions of the world. At one level or another, virtually all of my research and teaching tries to explore why avoidable injustice and suffering continue to disfigure a rich, technologically advanced world and what individuals and institutions can do to improve matters.

Because university professors do little directly to contribute to this objective, my approaches are indirect, through (i) teaching and mentoring students, (ii) outreach to community groups, governments, international organizations, media, non-profits, and private firms, and (iii) rigorous scholarship to inform my teaching, outreach and other researchers’ discoveries. My research group’s work is primarily field-based, empirical research in development microeconomics, with significant threads of agricultural, environmental and resource economics mixed in, and significant collaboration with scholars from a wide range of biophysical and social science disciplines. We make all of our work and data publicly available. Links to published journal articles, to books and book chapters, to working papers, and to data sets are available on other pages on this site.

The main threads of the group’s research revolve around:

Current Projects

Most of the group’s research relies on external funding from various agencies. Current research projects include:

Past major research projects include:

Published Papers

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Working Papers

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