Economics serving society
Karen Macours

Karen Macours

PSE Chaired 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

Selected publications


Experimental Evidence from a Conditional Cash Transfer Program: Schooling, Learning, Fertility, and Labor Market Outcomes After 10 Years (with Tania Barham, and J.A. Maluccio). 2024. Journal of European Economic Association, jvae005.

   This combines previous discussion papers  CEPR 13165,CEPR 11937  and IDB-WP 432.

   Online appendix  


Attrition in Randomized Control Trials: Using tracking information to correct bias (with Teresa Molina Millan), 2023, EDCC, forthcoming.


The Rigor Revolution: New Standards of Evidence for Impact Assessment of International Agricultural Research (with James Stevenson and Douglas Gollin), 2023. Annual Review of Resource Economics, 15. 495-515.


Piloting, testing and scaling parental training: a multi-partnership approach in Côte d’Ivoire (with Romuald Anago, Tiphaine Forzy, Sosthene Guei, Charlotte Pelras, Samuel Ramde, Camille Tevenart, Julieta Vera Rueda), 2023. Frontiers in Public Health 11 (August): 


Impact of Small Farmers' Access to Improved Seeds and Deforestation in DR Congo (with Tanguy Bernard, Sylvie Lambert and Margaux Vinez), 2023. Nature Communications, 14(1603),


    Open access replication data


Transfers, Diversification and Household Risk Strategies: Experimental Evidence with Lessons for Climate Change Adaptation (with Patrick Premand and Renos Vakis), 2022. Economic Journal,132 (647):2438–2470.

   PRESS: Vox, Nature Climate Change News and Views

   Open access: replication data MPV  and online appendix MPV2022 


Input subsidies, credit constraints, and expectations of future transfers: Evidence from Haiti (with Jeremie Gignoux, Daniel Stein and Kelsey Wright), 2022. American Journal of Agricultural Economics,

    Open access replication data


Measuring Skills in Developing Countries (with Rachid Laajaj), 2021. Journal of Human Reources56:1254-1295. doi:10.3368/jhr.56.4.1018-9805R1

   PRESS: VoxDev

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

  Open acces 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).

   PRESS: Forbes, Voxdev talk Podcast

   Open access 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.

   PRESS: Foreign Affairs


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 MagazineNew ScientistORFN+1VoxDev,

                 De MorgenMedical XpressDe VolkskrantSpektrumParsing Science (podcast)

    Open access Replication data


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. 


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.

   PRESS: The Guardian


“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.