Eleonora Nillesen - Selected Publications#

1. Voors, M.J., E.E.M. Nillesen, E.H. Bulte, B.W. Lensink, P. Verwimp and D.P. van Soest (2012) Violent Conflict and Behavior: a Field Experiment in Burundi. American Economic Review 102 (2) pp. 941-64. DOI: 10.1257/aer.102.2.941

My publication in the American Economic Review has moved priors about the stability of preferences – a key assumption in economic theory until recently. The published version of the paper has been cited 1034 times which is much higher than the median # of 217 citations in top tier economics journals.

2. de Ree, J., and E. Nillesen (2009) Aiding violence or Peace? The impact of foreign aid on the risk of civil conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of Development Economics 88 pp. 301-313. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdeveco.2008.03.005

The paper on foreign aid and civil conflict was the first paper I published from my PhD dissertation and was among the first that used a flexible dynamic econometric model to causally explain the impact of foreign aid on civil conflict onset and duration respectively testifying to my econometric skills. I wrote the paper together with a then fellow first-year PhD student. To date the paper has been cited 258 times which compares favorably to the median # of 51 citations in top field economics journals.

3. Beekman, G., Bulte, E., & Nillesen, E. (2014). Corruption, investments and contributions to public goods: Experimental evidence from rural Liberia. Journal of Public Economics 115 pp 37-47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpubeco.2014.04.004

4. Bierbaum M, Nillesen EEM (2021) Sustaining the integrity of the threatened self: A cluster-randomised trial among social assistance applicants in the Netherlands. PloS ONE 16(6): e0252268. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0252268

5. Mesfin, H., Cecchi, F., Nillesen, E., and J. Tiriavayi (2022) Overconfidence, trust, and information seeking among farmers: Experimental evidence from Ethiopia. Economic Development and Cultural Change, forthcoming. https://doi.org/10.1086/719464

6. Mesfin, H. Cecchi, F., Nillesen, E., and N. Tirivayi (2022) The effect of sibling’s sex ratio on physical capital, human capital and gendered time use among adolescents in Ethiopia. Economics and Human Biology 47, December 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ehb.2022.101182

Papers 3-6 (also 9-10) are co-authored publications with my PhD students. When co-authoring with a PhD student it is common within my field to list the PhD candidate as the first author followed by an alphabetical ordering of the co-author(s).

Paper 3 was one of the first economics papers using primary data from Liberia. This data was collected by G. Beekman and me during several months of fieldwork which was unique given that Liberia at the time was still recovering from its violent civil wars. The paper was part of a larger project on post-war recovery where we collaborated with the Liberian government and ZOA. We received funding from the United States Institute of Peace and NWO. The paper demonstrates my long-term experience in conducting fieldwork under challenging circumstances.

Papers 4-6 are also based on primary data – collected in Maastricht and Ethiopia respectively. Paper 4 uses a randomized trial on self-affirmation for social assistance recipients which is sometimes effective in improving performance and increase wellbeing. This paper testifies to my interest in using insights from social psychology (e.g., on stigma) to understand economic decision-making. Paper 5 uses a lab-in-field behavioral experiment relevant for WP1/WP2 and demonstrates my experience in designing and conducting these experiments. Paper 6 exploits observational data on gender, which demonstrates my passion for doing research on gender outcomes.

7. Nillesen, E., Grimm, M., Goedhuys, M., Reitmann, A.K., and A. Meysonnat (2021) On the Malleability of Gender Attitudes: Evidence from Implicit and Explicit Measures in Tunisia. World Development, 138, 105263. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105263

8. Reitmann, Ann-Kristin, Micheline Goedhuys, Michael Grimm & Eleonora Nillesen (2020) Gender attitudes in the Arab region – the role of framing and priming effects. Journal of Economic Psychology https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joep.2020.102288

Papers 7-8 use primary data from Tunisia. Both papers focus on gender attitudes and how to measure them. The papers were part of a research project on women empowerment in the Arab region we conducted for the International Labor Organization (ILO). I presented the results at high-level stakeholder workshops in Tunis and Geneva.

Paper 8 was awarded the “Paper of Year” award from the Journal of Economic Psychology. We received a prize of EUR 1000, and I presented the paper as part of the award ceremony at the annual meeting of the International Association for Research in Economic Psychology (IAREP).

9. Sol, L., Nillesen, E., and P. Smeets (2022) Breaking Down Menstrual Barriers in Bangladesh; Cluster RCT Evidence on School Attendance and Psychosocial Outcomes of Adolescent Girls. SSRN Working Paper https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3847266

This paper analyses the short-term impact of a large-scale randomized intervention related to menstrual health management on school absence and socio-economic outcomes for adolescent girls in Bangladesh. We collected primary survey and experimental data among 3700 girls and their parents in rural Bangladesh. This testifies to my experience in managing large-scale impact evaluations in developing country settings. I have presented the results from the project at academic conferences (e.g., EEA, CSAE) and helped SIMAVI (implementing partner) in disseminating findings within their network by organizing capacity-building workshops for 40 other global NGOs and train them on menstrual health interventions and successful advocacy. This demonstrates my ability to disseminate results across various stakeholders.

10. Amador Gonzalez, M., Cowan, R., and E. Nillesen (2022) Peer networks and malleability of educational aspirations. https://arxiv.org/abs/2209.08340

This is my most recent working paper which combines a randomized field intervention with a comprehensive network approach to understand the influence of peers on educational aspirations in Mexico. We collected household survey and detailed social network data among more than 2000 high school students in two schools in Mexico.

Total Google Scholar Citations: 2,205

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