Oliver Vanden Eynde

Oliver Vanden Eynde

Assistant Professor

Campus Jourdan – 48 Boulevard Jourdan 75014 Paris

Building A, 2nd floor, office 210

Phone +33(0)1 43 13 63 44

  • Development Economics

My research focuses on economic development, civil conflict, crime, human capital development, and the role of the military in developing countries. I have worked on the human capital effects of military recruitment in colonial India, the design of civil-military institutions, and the targeting strategies of insurgents in India’s Maoist conflict. Current research projects explore the relationship between crime reduction and economic growth, the economic impacts of rural infrastructure development, and the public finance of law and order.


"Military service and human capital accummulation: evidence from colonial Punjab" (working paper version), Journal of Human Resources (forthcoming)

    Working Papers

    "Targets of Violence: Evidence from India's Naxalite Conflict", revise and resubmit at the Economic Journal

    "Ethnic Politics and Job Performance in the Kenyan Police 1957-1970", joint with Patrick Kuhn and Alex Moradi

    "Mining Royalties and Incentives for Security Operations: Evidence from India's Red Corridor", submitted

    "Building Connections: Political Corruption and Road Construction in India", joint with Jonathan Lehne and Jacob Shapiro

    "Coup-friendly Institutions and Apolitical Militaries: a Theory of Optimal Military Influence"


      Work in Progress

        “Mapping rural infrastructure development in India”, joint with Jacob Shapiro. 

        We collected implementation details for India's flagship rural infrastructure programmes: PMGSY (roads), RGGVY (electrification, now DDUGJY), USOF (mobile phone coverage), NRDWP (rural drinking water), and IAP (small-scale projects in Maoist affected districts). We matched hundreds of thousands of individual projects to India's more than 600,000 census villages. We will be using this data to understand the economic impacts of these programmes, with a particular focus on complementarities between different types of infrastructure.

        "Connecting the Red Corridor: Infrastructure Development in Conflict Zones", joint with Jamie Hansen-Lewis, Jacob Shapiro, and Austin Wright.   
        A description of the data we collected is provided in an IGC Working Paper, and our descriptive analysis is summarized in an IGC Policy Brief.

        “Political change, economic growth, and Crime reduction in Bihar”, joint with Clement Imbert, Chinmaya Kumar, and Nishith Prakash.

        Our project aims to understand the mechanisms through which Bihar was able to leave its history of poor law an order behind. While the reduction in violent crime after 2005 is clearly marked in the State level crime statistics, there has been no in-depth academic study of the mechanisms through which Bihar’s political change enabled this swift improvement. Interestingly, the drop in crime that Bihar experienced after 2005 was not evenly spread across Bihar (State Crime Records Bureau, 2012). As part of this project, we have collected a unique data set of police station level crime data (covering almost 800 police stations, at monthly frequency, between 2001 and 2013), in order to uncover sub-district level variation in crime outcomes. This data set will allow us to identify how policy interventions and political changes contributed to Bihar's remarkable crime reduction.

        "Long-term effects of Gurkha Recruitment in Nepal", joint with François Libois and Juni Singh 

        The British colonizers were particularly impressed by the fighting skills of the so-called “Gurkha’s” during the Gorkha war (1814-1816). As a result, the East India Company started to recruit soldiers from a large region that is now part of Nepal almost 200 years ago. The Gurkha soldiers provided many regiments to the colonial Indian Army, and they were heavily relied on during the two World Wars. After 1947, both the British and the Indian army kept recruiting soldiers from Nepal until the present day.  The transformational role that Gurkha soldiers played in the development of their villages is well documented by historians and sociologists, who suggest that they are instrumental in improving the educational facilities in their home communities. Our paper aims to provide the first quantitative evaluation of the hypotheses that Gurkha recruitment contributed to the development of rural Nepal.

        “Economic determinants of Maoism”, joint with Maitreesh Ghatak



        PSE Summer School

        Microeconomics, Markets and market failures : theory and public policies (PPD, M1)

        Conflict and Development (PPD and APE, M2)