Academy scholar, HarvardIMG_5078
Azrieli Scholar, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
Assistant Professor, Berkeley Haas (on leave)
Director, Marakuja Kivu Research



On the Origin of States: Stationary Bandits and Taxation in Eastern Congo,” Journal of Political Economy, Accepted. 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

*“Corrupt Hierarchies” with Kristof Titeca. Media coverage: Foreign Affairs, The Economist, CTC International group

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

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

*“Exporting Democratic Practices: Evidence from a Village Governance Intervention in Eastern Congo” with M Humphreys and P Van der Windt, Journal of Development Economics, Conditionally accepted. Media coverage: Financial Times, World Bank Development blog, Tim Hartford’s blog

*“Fishing, Commitment, and Communication: Comprehensive Nonbinding Registration” with M Humphreys and P 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”

*“Indirect rule and armed conflict: Theoretical insights from Congo” with G Marchais


Work in Progress

*“Indirect Rule: Causes and Consequences,” with G Marchais and S Henn

*“Moral tribes: why do people join armed groups?” with G Marchais

*“On the mechanics of Kleptocratic states: Administrators’ power, protectors, and taxpayers false confessions” with S Henn, L Paler, C Samii, W Prichard (2016)

*Corruption: protection markets and social networks (with Kristof Titeca)

*Emotional factors of participation into armed groups

*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