La science économique au service de la société
Oliver Vanden Eynde

Oliver Vanden Eynde

Professeur titulaire d'une chaire à PSE

Chargé de recherche CNRS

Campus Jourdan – 48 Boulevard Jourdan 75014 Paris

5e étage, bureau 59

Tél. 01 80 52 17 22

  • Capital humain et développement
  • Economie politique du développement
  • Économie politique et institutions

I'm a researcher (chargé de recherche) at the CNRS and a professor at PSE. I'm also affiliated with the CEPR. My research focuses on civil conflict, crime, economic development, and the role of the military and police in developing countries. 


"Fiscal Incentives for Conflict: Evidence from India's Red Corridor" (working paper), joint with Jacob Shapiro, Review of Economics and Statistics (2023), Vol. 105 (1).

"Security Transitions" (working paper), joint with Thiemo Fetzer, Pedro CL Souza, and Austin Wright, American Economic Review (2021), Vol.111 (7).

"Trickle-down Ethnic Politics: Drunk and Absent in the Kenya Police Force (1957-1970)" (working paper), joint with Patrick Kuhn and Alex Moradi, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy (2018).

"Targets of violence: Evidence from India's Naxalite Conflict" (working paper), Economic Journal (2018). 

"Building connections: Political corruption and road construction in India(working paper), joint with Jonathan Lehne and Jacob Shapiro, Journal of Development Economics (2018), Vol.131.

"Economic determinants of the Maoist Conflict in India", joint with Maitreesh Ghatak, Economic and Political Weekly (2017), Vol.52 (39).

"Military service and human capital accumulation: evidence from colonial Punjab"Journal of Human Resources (2016), Vol.51 (4). 

Working Papers

"Losing on the Home Front? Battlefield Casualties, Media, and Public Support for Foreign Interventions", joint with Thiemo Fetzer, Pedro CL Souza, and Austin Wright. (R&R, American Journal of Political Science)

 We study the impact of battlefield casualties and media coverage on public demand for war termination. To identify the effect of troop fatalities, we leverage the otherwise exogenous timing of survey collection across 26,218 respondents from eight members of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Quasi-experimental evidence demonstrates that fatalities increase coverage of the Afghan conflict and public demand for withdrawal. Evidence from a survey experiment replicates the main results. To estimate the media mechanism, we leverage a news pressure design and find that major sporting matches occurring around the time of battlefield casualties drive down subsequent coverage and significantly weaken the effect of casualties on support for war termination. These results highlight the crucial role that media play in shaping public support for foreign military interventions.

"From muscle drain to brain gain: the long-term effects of Gurkha recruitment in Nepal", with François Libois, Ritu Muralidharan, and Juni Sinh

Gurkha soldiers in Nepal have been recruited by the Indian and later the British armies for over 200 years. The transformational role that these soldiers played in the development of their home communities is often described informally, but is challenging to quantify. Using the plausibly exogenous locations of British recruitment depots in the 19th century, we use a continuous difference-in-difference design to show that exposure to historical Gurkha recruitment is associated with improved outcomes for education and indicators of female empowerment today that are specific to the “recruitable” Gurkha castes. Specifically, historical Gurkha recruitment is associated with higher literacy, a greater probability of attending school, higher educational levels, marrying later, increased women-run non-farm businesses, and a greater share of women currently using contraceptives. There is a differential in these positive effects between the “recruitable” Gurkha castes and other castes. While Gurkha castes tend to hold more assets in historical recruitment grounds, the positive impacts on education remain when we explicitly account for wealth differences. This finding is consistent with the idea that military recruitment changed the culture and preferences of recruited communities, as historians have long argued. 

"Complementarities in Infrastructure: Evidence from Indian Agriculture", with Liam Wren-Lewis. (submitted)

Complementarities between infrastructure projects have been understudied. Our paper examines interactions in the impacts of large-scale road construction, electrification, and mobile phone coverage programs in rural India. We find strong evidence of complementary impacts between roads and electricity on agricultural production: dry season cropping increases significantly when villages receive both, but not when they receive one without the other. These complementarities are associated with a shift of cropping patterns towards market crops and with improved economic conditions.  In contrast, we find no consistent evidence of complementarities for the mobile coverage program. 


"Infrastructures et Développement Rural: L'exemple de l'Inde" (in French), joint with Liam Wren-Lewis. «Collection du Cepremap» n°61 (forthcoming 2023), Editions Rue d'Ulm, Paris.


Work in Progress

“Bidding for Roads”, joint with Jonathan Lehne and Jacob Shapiro. 

“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.


Dormant papers

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

"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.


Research Grants




PSE Summer School

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

Conflict and Development (PPD and APE, M2)