The new Zurich Center for Economic Development forms part of the Department of Economics at the University of Zurich, one of the leading economic departments in Europe. Our four principal investigators are Lorenzo Casaburi, Dina Pomeranz, Joachim Voth, and David Yanagizawa-Drott. They set their own research agendas, raise funds to support their evaluations, and work with the Center’s staff on research and policy outreach.
Lorenzo Casaburi is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics at the University of Zurich. Before he joined the Department of Economics, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), Stanford University. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard. Professor Casaburi is an Affiliated Professor at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J - PAL Global), a Research Affiliate at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), the Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) and the International Growth Centre (IGC), and a member of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD). His research focuses on two main agendas. In the first, he focuses on agricultural markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, with an emphasis on market structure and agricultural finance. Recent papers in this area study the impact of saving constraints on agricultural markets and the design of novel agricultural insurance products for smallholders. In the second, he looks at state capacity, with an emphasis on tax enforcement. Recent work in this area includes a paper on the impact of tax enforcement policies on voting behavior and ongoing collaboration with the Kenya Revenue Authority on projects aimed at reducing evasion of rental income tax and value added tax. Professor Casaburi’s research has been funded by several institutions, including USAID, DFID, IGC, 3ie, and JPAL.
Dina D. Pomeranz has been a Visiting Professor at the Department of Economics since August 1, 2016, and was appointed to the Assistant Professorship in Microeconomics, endowed by the UBS Center, starting September 2017. Before joining the University of Zurich, she held a position as Assistant Professor at the Harvard Business School at Harvard University. Professor Pomeranz is a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an Affiliate Professor at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) and the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), and a member of the International Growth Centre (IGC) and of the HBS Social Enterprise Initiative. Her research focuses on public policies towards firms and entrepreneurs in developing countries. She has conducted large-scale randomized field experiments on tax evasion by firms and the determinants and impacts of formal savings for low-income micro-entrepreneurs. Professor Pomeranz’ research has been published in journals such as the American Economic Review and the Tax Administration Review and has been featured in media outlets including CNN, Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal. Besides her academic interests, she serves on the board or advisory board of a number of social enterprise ventures committed to translating research into practice.
Joachim Voth joined the Department of Economics at the University of Zurich in 2014 and has been appointed to the Professorship in Macroeconomics and Financial Markets, endowed by the UBS Center in 2015. From 1998 to 2013, he was a professor at UPF, Barcelona. He is a Research Fellow at the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), has held visiting appointments at the MIT Economics Department, Princeton, at NYU-Stern and at the Stanford Economics Department, and he has been a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies, ANU, Canberra, Australia and at Nuffield College, Oxford, as well a Research Fellow at Clare College, Cambridge. Professor Voth is one of the joint managing editors of the Economic Journal. He is also an associate editor at the The Quarterly Journal of Economics. His area of specialization is economic and financial history and his research has been published in four of the top 5 journals in economics, as well as in books and field journals. His principal areas of research include long-run economic growth, the history of sovereign debt, causes and consequences of the Nazi Party’s rise to power, and the economic history of the Industrial Revolution. Professor Voth has been awarded several grants and prizes for his work and his research has also been profiled in The Economist, the Financial Times, the New York Times, Financial Times Deutschland, Wall Street Journal, NZZ, Handelsblatt, FAZ, Le Monde, Vanguardia, and De Volkskrant.
David Yanazigawa-Drott is Professor of Development and Emerging Markets at the Department of Economics, University of Zurich, and Affiliated Professor at the UBS International Center of Economics in Society. Before joining the University of Zurich he held positions as Associate Professor (2014-2016) and Assistant Professor (2010-2014) at Harvard Kennedy School and as Visiting Assistant Professor at the MIT Economics Department. Professor Yanagizawa holds a Ph.D. in Economics from IIES Stockholm University. He is a Faculty Research Fellow at The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an Affiliated Professor at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J - PAL Global), and a member of the The Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD). His research interests include political economics and economic development, with current focus on culture, conflict and globalization. Professor Yanagizawa’s research has been featured in numerous media outlets including ABC, CBS, Fox, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Washington Post.