Current Visiting Scholars and PhDs

Our Visiting PhD Fellowship Programme and the Visiting Scholars Programme give doctoral students, as well as qualified scholars an opportunity to participate in UNU-WIDER activities and the opportunity to research topics related to development, and/or global economic issues. After being held online in 2020 and 2021, UNU-WIDER is excited to welcome the visitors in our Helsinki office.
Visiting Scholars – Spring 2022
Arnab K Basu

I am a Professor at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics andArnab K Basu Management, Cornell University. My main research interests are in the areas of labor markets in development countries, the economics of eco-and social labeling, and field experiments to elicit behavioral preferences. My recent research involves the design  and evaluation of field experiments to study how behavioral preferences affect production decisions, household labor supply, human capital investments and labor mobility. I am also involved in several projects that are India-specific, viz., the link between indoor air pollution and child mortality, differential health reporting error amongst older adults and the effect of Kerala’s partial alcohol ban on intimate partner violence.

Vanessa Carrión-YaguanaVanessa Carrión-Yaguana

I am an Assistant Professor at Universidad de Las Americas, Ecuador, where I also serve as Head of the research group Place, Context, and Society. I hold a Ph.D. in Economics from Virginia Tech. My research focuses on labor economics, political behavior, and impact evaluation of development programs, all these topics addressed from a gender perspective. I am currently evaluating the impact of labor reforms on labor market dynamics in the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.

Nancy Chau

I am a trade and development economist, andNancy Chau Professor at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell. I am thrilled to be visiting WIDER this summer. While here, I will be working on research on migration and networks. I am deeply interested in understanding the role that networks play in facilitating job search and migration. I am interested in the outcomes associated with this link,  e.g. poverty alleviation and unemployment reduction, as well as the process, e.g. the risks that migrants take in their border crossing journeys.

Shreyasee Das

I am an Instructional Assistant Professor at TempleShreyasee Das University, where I am also affiliated with the Global Studies program and the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies program. I completed my Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Houston. My research interests are in the fields of gender and development economics, with a regional focus on India. Some of my work examines marriage market outcomes in the event of natural and industrial disasters, and the impact of property rights on women’s empowerment. I am currently researching the impact of river water allocation rules and their impact on women’s health.

Mark GradsteinMark Gradstein

I am a Sumner T. White Professor at the Economics Department, Ben Gurion University, Israel, where I have served twice as the department chair and carried out many additional administrative responsibilities at various levels. I am also affiliated with a number of international research networks, such as the CEPR, CESifo, and IZA. While at UNU-WIDER, I am studying aspects of demographic transition in sub-Saharan Africa.  In particular, one project studies the causal effect of economic development on fertility reduction in a sample of Africa’s regions. 

Jacqueline MosomiJacqueline Mosomi

I am a researcher in the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) based at the University of Cape Town. I am an economist with a PhD from the University of Cape Town.  My broad areas of study are labour, education and gender inequality. My current research is on occupational sorting and the gendered impact of COVID-19 in South Africa. 

Saher AsadSaher Asad

I’m a development economist interested in studying the impacts of interventions leveraging Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on agricultural and labor market outcomes. My secondary research interests include studying the impacts of news media in developing countries as well as evaluating impacts of interventions targeted towards improving public service delivery.

Visiting PhD Fellows – Spring 2022
James McKeownJames McKeown

My research interests are in Biopolitics of development, conflict research and democratization. I am currently working on Ghana’s biopolitical responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and the implications for life and the economy.


Achinthya KoswattaAchinthya Koswatta

My current research explores how production complexity, innovation and the overall quality of institutions interact with trade liberalization in developing countries.


Andre Pereira ManchaAndre Pereira Mancha

I am interested in crime, law and economics and I am currently studying how changes in law enforcement affect robbery and theft outcomes in developing countries.


Nyemwererai Matshaka​Nyemwererai Matshaka

My interest is in macroeconomics, social and development economics with current focus on the relationship between macroeconomic policy and inequality.


Vinitha VargheseVinitha Varghese

My research focuses on poverty and economic development, specifically topics such as gender, health and education and my current research explores the impact of school consolidation on school enrollment and schooling quality.


Pierfrancesco RollaPierfrancesco Rolla

I am a political economist using mixed methods to study organized crime and development. I am currently researching the social consequences of organized crime groups in Italy. My research focus also includes the evaluation of early childhood development programmes in Rwanda, inequality in Colombia and migration in Zimbabwe.

Kwamivi GomadoKwamivi Gomado

I am interested in analysing the macroeconomic effects of structural reforms in developing countries. My current research focuses on the one hand on the distributional effects of structural reforms and on the other hand, the impact of IMF conditionality policies on structural reforms.