Economics serving society
Karen Macours

Karen Macours

PSE Professor

Research Director INRAE

Campus Jourdan – 48 Boulevard Jourdan 75014 Paris

5th floor, office 06

Phone +33(0)1 80 52 16 86

Research groups: Development
  • Agricultural Economics and development
  • Evaluation of public policies in developing countries
  • Human capital and development


Most recent

Shining a Brigher Light: Comprehensive Evidence on Adoption and Diffusion of CGIAR-related Innovations in Ethiopia. (with Frederic Kosmowski, Solomon Alemu, Paola Mallia and James Stevenson). Rome: Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA). 

   Open access Replication data


Reconciling yield gains in agronomic trials with returns under African smallholder conditions (with Rachid Laajaj, Cargele Masso, Moses Thuita, and Bernard Vanlauwe), Scientific Reports10, 14286 (2020).

   Open access Replication data 


Measuring Skills in Developing Countries (with Rachid Laajaj), 2020. Journal of Human Reources, forthcoming. 

   PRESS: VoxDev

  Online appendix with detailed information on methods to facilitate use in other applications

  Open acces Replication data


Experimental Long-Term Effects of Early Childhood and School-Age Exposure to a Conditional Cash Transfer Program (with Teresa Molina Millan, John Maluccio and Luis Tejerina), 2020, Journal of Development Economics, 143(102385), lead article.


Challenges to Capture the Big Five Personality Traits in non-WEIRD populations (with Rachid Laajaj, Daniel Alejandro Pinzon Hernandez, Omar Arias, Samuel Gosling, Jeff Potter, Marta Rubio-Codina, and Renos Vakis), 2019. Science Advances, 5(7): eaaw5226. 

   PRESS: NPR (National Public Radio), Discover Magazine, New ScientistORFN+1VoxDev,

                 De Morgen, Medical Xpress, De Volkskrant, Spektrum, Parsing Science (podcast)


Impacts on school entry of exposure since birth to a conditional cash transfer programme in El Salvador (with Ana Sanchez Chico, John Maluccio and Marco Stampini), 2020.  J Dev Eff., DOI: 10.1080/19439342.2020.1773900


Long Term Impacts of Conditional Cash Transfers: Review of the Evidence (with Teresa Molina-Millan, Tania Barham, John Maluccio, Marco Stampini), 2019. World Bank Research Observer, 34: 119-159.


Farmers' Demand and the Traits and Diffusion of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries, 2019. Annual Review of Resource Economics, 11, 483-499.


How can Randomized Control Trials help improve the design of Common Agricultural Policy? (with Luc Behaghel and Julie Subervie), 2019. European Review of Agricultural Economics, 46(3): 473-493.


Working Papers 

Social Learning in Agriculture: Does Smallholder Heterogeneity Impede Technology Diffusion in Sub-Saharan Africa? (with Luc Behaghel and Jeremie Gignoux), CEPR Discussion Paper 15220

   PRESS: Voxdev


Transfers, Diversification and Household Risk Strategies: Experimental Evidence with Lessons for Climate Change Adaptation (with Patrick Premand and Renos Vakis), CEPR Discussion Paper 8940, R&R Economic Journal.

   PRESS: Vox


Attrition in Randomized Control Trials: Using tracking information to correct bias (with Teresa Molina Millan), 2019, R&R EDCC.


Experimental Evidence of Exposure to a Conditional Cash Transfer During Early Teenage Years: Young Women’s Fertility and Labor Market Outcomes (with Tania Barham and John Maluccio), 2018. CEPR Discussion Paper 13165


Are Conditional Cash Transfers Fulfilling Their Promise? Schooling, Learning, and Earnings After 10 Years (with Tania Barham and John Maluccio), 2018. Updated version of CEPR Discussion Paper 11937



Selected publications

Sustaining Impacts When Transfers End: Women Leaders, Aspirations and Investment in Children (with Renos Vakis), 2019. in Barret, CB, MR Carter and JP Chavas, The economics of poverty traps, NBER.


Comment on “Estimating the Productivity Impacts of Technology Adoption in the Presence of Misclassification”, 2019. American Journal of Agricultural Economics.101(1), 17-18.


Preschool and Parental Response in a Second Best World: Evidence from a School Construction Experiment (with Adrien Bouguen, Deon Filmer and Sophie Naudeau), Journal of Human Resources, 2018. 53(2): 474-512.


Women’s Political Reservation, Early Childhood Development and Learning in India (with Yuvraj Pathak), Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2017. 65(4): 741-766.


“Wealth Gradients in Early Childhood Cognitive Development in Five Latin American Countries” (with Norbert Schady Jere Behrman, Maria Caridad Araujo, Rodrigo Azuero, Raquel Bernal, David Bravo, Florencia Lopez-Boo, Daniela Marshall, Christina Paxson, and Renos Vakis). Journal of Human Resources, 2015, 50(2): 446-463.


“Changing Households’ Investment Behavior through Social Interactions with Local Leaders: Evidence from a randomized transfer program” (with Renos Vakis), Economic Journal, 2014, 124 (May), 607–633.


“Boys’ Cognitive Skill Formation and Physical Growth: Long-term Experimental Evidence on Critical Ages for Early Childhood Interventions”, (with Tania Barham and John Maluccio), American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 2013, 103(3): 467–471.


“Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment” (with Norbert Schady and Renos Vakis), American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2012, 4(2): 247–273.


“Increasing Inequality and Civil Conflict in Nepal”, Oxford Economic Papers, 2011, 63(1): 1-26 (lead article).


“Insecurity of Property Rights and Social Matching in the Tenancy Market” (with Alain de Janvry and Elisabeth Sadoulet), European Economic Review, 2010, 54(7): 880-899.



Other activities & affiliations


Co-editor Journal of Development Economics


Standing Panel on Impact Assesment of the CGIAR, Chair.


Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL), Member of the Board of Directors and co-chair health sector


Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Market Risk and Resilience, Member of the Board of Directors 


Co-organizer CEPR-Virtual Development Economics Seminar Series: VDEV


BREAD (Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis): Member of the Board of Directors


CEPR reseach affiliate


EUDN member