f1ffd9d5-14a1-447a-a56a-ddc926759f19.jpgI am Raúl, an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy, and a research fellow at IGC, JPAL-CVI, NBER (PE), a distinguished fellow at CESifo, and was a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar and a scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. I am one of the founders of Marakuja Kivu Research. My work in Eastern DR Congo is part of a documentary, Congo Calling.

Email: raul@uchicago.edu  Phone: +1-917-488-9151




On the Origin of States: Stationary Bandits and Taxation in Eastern Congo,” Journal of Political Economy, Forthcoming. Media coverage: Marginal Revolution, Christopher Blattman’s blog, Frankfurter Allgemeine, Die Zeit, Kris Berwouts, VOXEuBBC Radio trade series 

*“When Formal Contracts Fail,” Econometrica, Revision requested

*“Corruption in a Hierarchy” with Kristof TitecaMedia coverage: Foreign Affairs, The Economist, CTC International group

*“Why Being Wrong can be Right: Magical Warfare Technology and the Persistence of False Beliefswith Nathan Nunn, American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings (2017). Media coverage: VOXeuCIFAR

*“Can Externally Mandated Gender Requirements Empower Women?” with Macartan Humphreys and Peter Van der Windt, Journal of Development Economics (2018)

*“Exporting Democratic Practices: Evidence from a Village Governance Intervention in Eastern Congowith Macartan Humphreys and Peter Van der Windt, Journal of Development Economics, Accepted. Media coverage: Financial Times, World Bank Development blog, Tim Hartford’s blog

*“Fishing, Commitment, and Communication: Comprehensive Nonbinding Registration” with Macartan Humphreys and Peter Van der Windt, Political Analysis, 2012, 21 (1) pp 1-20. Media coverage: World Bank’s Development Impact blog

*“Dis-organizing violence: stationary bandits, and the time horizon,” with Miguel Ortiz and David (Qihang) Wu

*“Indirect rule and armed conflict: Theoretical insights from Congo” with Gauthier Marchais and Soeren Henn


Work in Progress


Our research team in the DR of the Congo

*“Indirect Rule: Causes and Consequences,” with Gauthier Marchais and Soeren Henn

*“Why do people join armed groups?” with Gauthier Marchais and Qihang Wu

*“On the mechanics of Kleptocratic states: Administrators’ power, protectors, and taxpayers false confessions” with Soeren Henn, Laura Paler, Cyrus Samii, Wilson Prichard (2016)

*Corruption: protection markets and social networks, with Kristof Titeca

*Emotional factors of participation into armed groups, with Hilary Yu and the help of many others

*Supernatural private sector development, with Nathan Nunn and Max Winkler

*Injecting Administrators’ Independence, DR Congo, with Eric Mvukiyehe and Guo Xu

*Economics of state kidnaping: Sicilian Fishermen, with Naor Ben-Yehoyada and Vito Pipitone



A political economy of the Congo (in progress)


Policy Report

Artisanal Mining, Livelihoods, and Child Labor in the Cobalt Supply Chain of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Social and Economic Impacts of Community Driven Development in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Bandits or states? Armed groups’ expropriation strategies and the economy: evidence from Eastern Congo