Prof. Dr. Ir. Eleonora Nillesen

Professorial Fellow

Research group(s):
4. Governance and institutions (coordinator)

Eleonora Nillesen is a research fellow at UNU-MERIT and coordinates the research theme on Economic Development, Innovation, Governance and Institutions. She holds a PhD in development economics from Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Prior to joining UNU-MERIT in 2014 she has held positions at Wageningen University, ETH Zürich and DIW Berlin.

Her research focuses on the causal impacts of policies and interventions, specifically in poor and fragile environments. She uses (quasi) experimental designs and observational data to examine the impact of development programs and policies, and identify the role of (in)formal institutions and leadership as drivers of technology adoption. She has published on these topics in leading economics journals, including The American Economic Review, Journal of Development Economics and Journal of Public Economics.

She currently runs research projects in DR Congo, Liberia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan and Tunisia. Eleonora has served as a consultant to the World Bank, UNDP and UNICEF on various occasions and is a member of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3IE) expert’s roster. She is also affiliated with the Graduate School of Business and Economics at Maastricht University; the International Security and Development Center in Berlin; the Global Labor Organization and the Households in Conflict Network. 

Selected publications by Eleonora Nillesen