Prof. Dr. Ir. Eleonora Nillesen

Professorial fellow

Research group(s):
3. Economic Development, Innovation, 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


Articles (journal, professional, popular)
Nillesen, Eleonora, 2016, Empty cups? Assessing the impact of civil war violence on coffee farming in Burundi, African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 11(1): 69-83
Beekman, Gonne, Marcel Gatto & Eleonora Nillesen, 2015, Family Networks and Income Hiding: Evidence from Lab-in-the-Field Experiments in Rural Liberia, Journal of African Economies, 24: 453-469, More information
Beekman, Gonne, Erwin Bulte & Eleonora Nillesen, 2014, Corruption, Investments and Contributions to Public Goods: Experimental Evidence from Rural Liberia, Journal of Public Economics, 115: 37-47, More information
Beekman, Gonne, Erwin Bulte & Eleonora Nillesen, 2014, Corruption and Economic Activity: Micro Level Evidence from Rural Liberia, Journal of Public Economics, 115: 37-47
Nillesen, Eleonora & Erwin Bulte, 2014, Natural Resources and Violent Conflict: An Overview of the Literature, Annual Review of Resource Economics, 6(1): 69-83, More information
Nillesen, Eleonora & Erwin Bulte, 2014, Natural Resources and Violent Conflict, Annual Review of Resource Economics, 6: 69–83
Beekman, Gonne, Erwin Bulte & Eleonora Nillesen, 2014, Corruption, investments and contributions to public goods: Experimental evidence from rural Liberia, Journal of Public Economics, 115: 37–47, More information
Nillesen, Eleonora, 2012, Arm en Kansrijk: een nieuwe visie op het bestrijden van armoede. Review of the book Arm en Kansrijk: een nieuwe visie op het bestrijden van armoede, by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, Economische Statistiche Berichten, 97: 4635
Voors, M.J., Eleonora Nillesen, Erwin Bulte, B.W. Lensink, P. Verwimp & D.P. van Soest, 2012, Violent Conflict and Behavior: a Field Experiment in Burundi, American Economic Review, 102(2): 941-64
Rufino, M., P. Reidsma & Eleonora Nillesen, 2011, Comments to ‘Is an integrated farm more resilient against climate change? A micro-econometric analysis of portfolio diversification in African agriculture’, Food Policy, 36(3): 452-454
Ree, J. de & Eleonora Nillesen, 2009, Aiding violence or Peace? The impact of foreign aid on the risk of civil conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa, Journal of Development Economics, 88: 301-313


UNU-MERIT Working Papers
Beekman, Gonne, Eleonora Nillesen & Maarten Voors, 2018, Sanctioning Regimes and Chief Quality: Evidence from Liberia, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2018-011
Dietrich, Stephan, Gonne Beekman & Eleonora Nillesen, 2018, Market integration and pro-social behaviour in rural Liberia, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2018-010
Leuveld, Koen, Eleonora Nillesen, Janneke Pieters, Martha Ross, Maarten Voors & Soazic Elise Wang Sonne, 2018, Agricultural extension and input subsidies to reduce food insecurity. Evidence from a field experiment in the Congo, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2018-009
Nigus, Halefom, Eleonora Nillesen & Pierre Mohnen, 2018, The effect of weather index insurance on social capital: Experimental evidence from Ethiopia, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2018-007


Research reports
Ghali, Sofiane, Micheline Goedhuys, Michael Grimm, Aline Meysonnat, Eleonora Nillesen & Sami Zouari, 2018, Women’s and Youth Empowerment in Rural Tunisia, An assessment using the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI), First report presenting disaggregated statistics on women’s and youth empowerment from a nationally representative survey of 1,150 households in Tunisia. The survey and report have been funded through ILO Taqeem (meaning “evaluation” in Arabic), which is a partnership between the ILO and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) as part of an IFAD-financed project titled “Strengthening gender monitoring and evaluation in rural employment in the Near East and North Africa”, 80 pp, More information
Aladysheva, A., Eleonora Nillesen, D. Esenaliev, T. Brück, G. Asylbek kyzy, J. Karabaeva & W. Leung, 2017, Impact Evaluation of the Peacebuilding Educational Programme “Livingsidebyside”® in Kyrgyzstan. 3IE Final report, Final report of an impact evaluation of a school-based peace education training in Southern Kyrgyzstan. The study was funded by the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3IE), 58, More information
Mbuvi, Dorcas, Christine Gutekunst, Eleonora Nillesen, Théophile T. Azomahou & Bart Verspagen (eds.), 2017, Microfinance and improved sanitation: Findings from the impact evaluation baseline survey in Busia and Bungoma, Kenya, Funded through the Sustainable Water Fund by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), 77


Conference contributions
Dietrich, S., G. Beekman & Eleonora Nillesen, 2017, Market Integration and pro-social behaviour in rural Liberia., Symposium for Economic Experiments in Developing Countries (SEEDEC) annual conference University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom, More information
Nillesen, Eleonora, Koen Leuveld, Janneke Pieters, Martha Ross, M.J. Voors & Soazic Elise Wang Sonne, 2017, The impact of agricultural extension and input subsidies on knowledge, input use and food security in Eastern DRC, Center for the Studies of African Economies (CSAE) Oxford Annual Conference, CSAE Oxford, United Kingdom, More information
Nillesen, Eleonora, G. Beekman & Maarten Voors, 2016, Sanctioning Regimes and Chief Quality. Evidence from rural Liberia., Center for the Studies of African Economies (CSAE) Oxford Annual Conference, at CSAE Oxford, United Kingdom, More information


Briefs
Goedhuys, Micheline & Eleonora Nillesen, 2019, Measuring Women’s Empowerment in the Middle East and North Africa, Women’s empowerment is important in its own right, yet it is also a catalyst towards other development goals. This brief demonstrates that measurement tools are being developed based on individual and household surveys, to monitor the evolution of women’s position in the household, the family and the community, 8, More information


UNU-MERIT