Joachim De Weerdt is a development economist based in Belgium. He is Associate Professor at the University of Antwerp and Senior Research Fellow at LICOS (KU Leuven).
Joachim uses economics to improve our understanding of the lives of the poor in low-income countries. He draws inspiration from work outside of economics and strives to disseminate his findings across multiple academic disciplines. He has two decades of field experience in Africa and of engagement with policy makers and practitioners who fight poverty. Most of his research is based on data he has collected himself. In recent years his research focus has been on urbanisation in Africa, informal insurance through social networks, long-run effects of early childhood circumstances and measurement through surveys.
Joachim has dozens of scientific articles to his name and has published in top journals from different disciplines, such as Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Development Economics, World Development, Demography, AIDS and the International Journal of Epidemiology. A full list is given below.
Joachim lived and worked as an entrepreneur and as a researcher in Africa for 12 years. In 2002 he co-founded Economic Development Initiatives (EDI), a research institution based in Tanzania, where he served as Research Director till 2014. During that time the company grew from a small, two-person start-up to one of Africa’s most respected research houses, with 40 core employees and frequently over 100 project-based field staff. Field operations later expanded across East Africa, while survey design and training services were provided across the globe.
In 2018 EDI was acquired by Mathematica, a US-based policy research company with over 1,200 employees. The new investor strengthened EDI with its extensive expertise, vast professional networks and financial clout. Today EDI continues on its growth path, operating independently as a wholly owned subsidiary of Mathematica.
Jump to Joachim's
- work in progress
- peer-reviewed publications
- Public engagement
- public data Sets
WORK IN PROGRESS
"When distance drives destination, towns can stimulate development" (with Luc Christiaensen and Ravi Kanbur). download.
"What can we learn from experimenting with survey methods" (with John Gibson and Kathleen Beegle). download.
"Child health across the rural-urban spectrum" (with Hannah Amaye).
"Rural labour productivity and urbanisation in Sub-Saharan Africa" (with Hanne Van Cappellen)
"Are Food Security Indicators Robust? Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Tanzania" (with Hannah Amaye and John Gibson)
"The support role of rural areas" (with Luc Christiaensen and Bert Ingelaere)
"Migration Dynamics and Real Options: a mixed methods study". (with Danny Cassimon, Luc Christiaensen and Bert Ingelaere).
“Disentangling Networks: Defining and Analysing Cohesive Subgroups”, mimeo, with Dirk Van de gaer (University of Ghent) - download pdf
“Insurance and Re-insurance Markets in Rural Tanzania”, with Quy-Toan Do (World Bank) and Markus Goldstein (World Bank)
(some ungated in academic bibliography)
Dillon, Brian, Joachim De Weerdt and Ted O'Donoghue. 2019. Paying More for Less: why don’t households in Tanzania take advantage of bulk discounts?" World Bank Economic Review (forthcoming). download.
Kanbur, Ravi, Luc Christiaensen and Joachim De Weerdt. 2019. Where to create jobs to reduce poverty: cities or towns? Journal of Economic Inequality 17(4):543-564. download.
De Weerdt, Joachim, Garance Genicot and Alice Mesnard. 2019. Asymmetry of Information within Family Networks. Journal of Human Resources 54(1):225-254. download.
Christiaensen, Luc, Joachim De Weerdt, Bert Ingelaere, and Ravi Kanbur, “Migrants, Towns, Poverty, and Jobs: Insights from Tanzania” in: Ravi Kanbur, Akbar Noman and Joseph E. Stiglitz (eds.) The Quality of Growth in Africa, New York: Columbia University Press, 2019, pp. 398-421.
Christiaensen, Luc, Joachim De Weerdt and Ravi Kanbur. 2019. Decomposing the Contribution of Migration to Poverty Reduction: Methodology and Application to Tanzania. Applied Economics Letters 26(12):978-982. download.
Cockx, Lara, Liesbeth Colen and Joachim De Weerdt. 2018. From Corn to Popcorn? Urbanization and food consumption in sub-Sahara Africa: Evidence from rural-urban migrants in Tanzania. World Development 110:140-159.
Ingelaere Bert, Luc Christiaensen, Joachim De Weerdt and Ravi Kanbur. 2018. Why Secondary Towns Can Be Important for Poverty Reduction – A Migrant Perspective. World Development 105:273-282. previous working paper versions here, here and here.
Arthi Vellore, Kathleen Beegle, Joachim De Weerdt and Amparo Palacios-Lopez. 2018. Not your average job: measuring farm labor in Tanzania. Journal of Development Economics 130: 160–172. download.
De Weerdt, Joachim, Kathleen Beegle and Stefan Dercon. 2017. Orphanhood and Self-esteem: an 18-year longitudinal study from an HIV affected area in Tanzania. JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 76(3):225–230. (biomedical journal with impact factor 4.6).
Friedman, Jed, Kathleen Beegle, Joachim De Weerdt and John Gibson. 2017. Decomposing Response Errors in Food Consumption Measurement: Implications for Survey Design from a Survey Experiment in Tanzania. Food Policy 72:94-111.
De Weerdt, Joachim and Kalle Hirvonen. 2016. Risk Sharing and Internal Migration. Economic Development and Cultural Change 65(1):63-86. download
De Weerdt, Joachim, Kathleen Beegle, Jed Friedman and John Gibson. 2016. The Challenge of Measuring Hunger through Survey. Economic Development and Cultural Change 64(4):727–758. download
Gibson, John, Kathleen Beegle, Joachim De Weerdt and Jed Friedman. 2015. What Does Variation in Household Survey Methods Reveal About the Nature of Measurement Errors in Consumption Estimates? Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics 77(3): 466-474.
Christiaensen, Luc, Joachim De Weerdt and Yasuyuki Todo. 2013. Urbanization and Poverty Reduction – The Role of Rural Diversification and Secondary Towns. Agricultural Economics 44:447-459.
Caeyers, Bet, Joachim De Weerdt and Neil Chalmers. 2012. Improving Consumption Measurement and other Survey Data through CAPI: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment. Journal of Development Economics 98:19–33.
Beegle, Kathleen, Joachim De Weerdt, Jed Friedman and John Gibson. 2012. Methods of Household Consumption Measurement through Surveys: Experimental Results from Tanzania. Journal of Development Economics 98:3-18.
Beegle, Kathleen, Joachim De Weerdt and Stefan Dercon. 2011. Migration and Economic Mobility in Tanzania: Evidence from a Tracking Survey. Review of Economics and Statistics 93(3): 1010–1033.
De Weerdt, Joachim and Marcel Fafchamps. 2011. Social Identity and the Formation of Health Insurance Networks. Journal of Development Studies 47(8): 1152-1177.
Beegle, Kathleen, Joachim De Weerdt and Stefan Dercon. 2011. Patterns of Migration in Tanzania. Chapter 2 in Jennica Larrison, Edmundo Murrugarra and Marcin Sasin (eds) "Migration and Poverty: Towards Better Migration Opportunities For the Poor", Washington DC: The World Bank.
Beegle, Kathleen, Joachim De Weerdt and Stefan Dercon. 2010. Orphanhood and Human Capital Destruction: Is there Persistence into Adulthood? Demography 47(1): 163-180.
De Weerdt, Joachim. 2010. Moving out of Poverty in Tanzania: Evidence from Kagera. Journal of Development Studies 46(2): 331-349.
Beegle, Kathleen, Joachim De Weerdt and Stefan Dercon. 2009. The Intergenerational Impact of the African Orphans Crisis: A Cohort Study from an HIV/AIDS Affected Area. International Journal of Epidemiology 38(2):561-568 (biomedical journal with impact factor 6.41).
Beegle, Kathleen and Joachim De Weerdt. 2008. Methodological Issues in the Study of the Socioeconomic Consequences of HIV/AIDS. AIDS, Vol. 22, Suppl 1, pp. S89-94 (biomedical journal with impact factor 6.25).
Beegle, Kathleen, Joachim De Weerdt and Stefan Dercon. 2008. Adult Mortality and Consumption Growth in the Age of HIV/AIDS. Economic Development and Cultural Change 56(2): 299-326.
De Weerdt, Joachim. 2008. Field Notes on Administering Shock Modules. Journal of International Development, Vol. 20, pp. 398-402.
De Weerdt, Joachim, Stefan Dercon, Tessa Bold and Alula Pankhurst. 2007. Membership-based Indigenous Insurance Associations. Pages 157-167 in Martha Chen, Renana Jhabvala, Ravi Kanbur, Carol Richards (eds.), “Membership Based Organisations of the Poor” Londen: Routledge 376 pages. download pdf
De Weerdt, Joachim and Stefan Dercon. 2006. Risk-sharing Networks and Insurance Against Illness. Journal of Development Economics 81(2): 337-356.
Dercon, Stefan, Joachim De Weerdt, Tessa Bold and Alula Pankhurst. 2006. Group-based Funeral Insurance in Ethiopia and Tanzania. World Development 34(4): 685-703.
Beegle, Kathleen, Joachim De Weerdt and Stefan Dercon. 2006. Orphanhood and the Long-run Impact on Children. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 88(5): 1266-1277.
De Weerdt, Joachim. 2004. Risk-sharing and Endogenous Network Formation. Chapter 10 in Dercon, S. (ed.) “Insurance Against Poverty”, Oxford University Press, pp: 197-216. dowload pdf
POLICY AND PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
February 2019. Video on Big City vs Small Town in Poverty Reducton: Insights from Tanzania.
February 2019. Policy paper for the European Commission on "Urbanization as a driver of changing food demand: evidence from rural-urban migration in Tanzania." JRC Technical Reports EUR 28756 (with Lara Cockx, Liesbeth Colen and Sergio Gomez Y Paloma).
December 2018. Policy paper published in advance of the UN's Global Compact for Migration on 10-11 December 2018 in Marrakech: Christiaensen, Luc, Joachim De Weerdt, Bert Ingelaere and Ravi Kanbur. 2018. “Migration, Growth and Secondary Towns in Tanzania” chapter 2 in: People on the Move. Advancing the Discourse on Migration and Jobs. JustJobs Network, pp. 29-42.
November 2018. A three part lecture series on the Economics of Growth and Development for staff of Belgium’s International and European Financial Affairs administration (IEFA) at the Ministry of Finance, who follow up on the representation of Belgium in various international financial organisations, such as the World Bank, IMF, African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, etc. (full list here).
29 June 2018. Keynote talk on “Urbanization and Rural Poverty Reduction: the role of small towns” at the International Conference on Planning and Development at the Institute for Rural Development Planning (IRDP), Dodoma, Tanzania.
30 June 2018. Roundtable discussion on “How to include rural areas in Tanzania’s industrialization process” at the International Conference on Planning and Development at the Institute for Rural Development Planning (IRDP), broadcast live on Tanzania’s national TV station (TBC), as well as various social media, like Michuzi Youtube Video Channel.
Father’s day post: what does paternal death tell us about the importance of fathers? 20 June 2018. Development Impact Blog. World Bank. Co-authored with Kathleen Beegle and Stefan Dercon.
Happy Father’s Day: Fathers and children’s self-esteem. 20 June 2018. Africa Can Blog. World Bank. Co-authored with Kathleen Beegle and Stefan Dercon.
Monitoring Emerging Small Towns in Tanzania: a proof of concept study (London School of Economics through the International Growth Centre). Providing technical support to Tanzania’s Prime Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG) to collect data and compile statistics on Emerging Small Towns (ESTs). PO-RALG estimates indicate that there may be as many as 800 ESTs, many of which are undocumented within the government system. PO-RALG has identified the lack of accurate and timely information on ESTs as a major obstacle to sound policy making and urban planning. This project is joint with Neil Chalmers (independent consultant) and Hanne Van Cappellen (University of Antwerp).
“Agriculture, poverty and malnutrition in Tanzania: enabling a focussed research agenda” (joint with Lara Cockx). Presentation at the “Expert Consultation on Focusing Agricultural and Rural Development Research and Investment on Achieving SDGs 1 and 2. A joint initiative of FAO, IFAD, ISPC/CGIAR and the World Bank, in partnership with the European Union.” 10-12 January 2018, FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy.
Migrants, Towns, Poverty and Jobs: Insights from Tanzania, with Luc Christiaensen, Bert Ingelaere and Ravi Kanbur. Paper prepared for the Initiative for Policy Dialogue of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Africa Task Force Meeting on The Quality of Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, held at Columbia University on 11-12 April, 2017. The Task Force is chaired by Joseph Stiglitz, Akbar Noman and Ravi Kanbur. Also appeared in January 2018 as a World Bank Policy Research Working Paper WPS8340.
"Secondary towns for migration and jobs", a three part blog series on the World Bank Jobs and Development Blog, co-authored with Luc Christiaensen, Bert Ingelaere and Ravi Kanbur:
- Creating the action space (17 October 2017)
- What makes a town a town and why it matters (19 October 2017)
- The first move is different (24 october 2018)
Enhancing Food Systems for Improved Urban Food Security and Nutrition. 6 June 2017. Policy Event on "Food Security and Nutrition in an Urbanising World", organised by SNV, IFPRI and Welthungerhilfe in Brussels on the eve of the EU development days. Watch the YouTube Video of the entire panel (1h) or jump to my contributions here, here and here.
Mchango wa Miji Midogo Katika Kuleta Maendeleo na Kuondoa Umaskini Tanzania. 2017. IGC Policy Brief (with Luc Christiaensen and Ravi Kanbur).
Secondary Towns and Poverty Reduction in Tanzania. 2017. IGC Policy Brief (with Luc Christiaensen and Ravi Kanbur).
Not Your Average Job: measuring farm labor in Tanzania. November 2016. IOB Analysis and Policy Brief 21. (with Vellore Arthi, Kathleen Beegle and Amparo Palacios-Lopez)
Mesurer l'agriculture familial, un exercice délicat. Africa Can End Poverty Blog. World Bank. 12 November 2016. (with Vellore Arthi, Kathleen Beegle and Amparo Palacios-Lopez)
Measuring family business is tricky business. Africa Can End Poverty Blog. World Bank. 12 November 2016. (with Vellore Arthi, Kathleen Beegle and Amparo Palacios-Lopez)
How migrants in Africa maintain economic and social links to home villages. IFPRI blog. 12 September 2016. (with Kalle Hirvonen)
Meer middelgrote steden, minder armoede. Mo Magazine 15 August 2016. (with Luc Christiaensen)
YouTube Video Presentation “From paper to CAPI: what can we learn from field experiments?” Posted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on the “Statistics at ADB Channel". 4 August 2016.
Not your average job: measuring farm labor in Tanzania. July 2016. Growth and Labor Markets in Low Income Countries Programme (GLM-LIC), Policy Brief No. 6. (with Vellore Arthi, Kathleen Beegle and Amparo Palacios-Lopez)
Decomposing response error to improve consumption survey design - Development Impact on 25 April 2016. (with Kathleen Beegle, Jed Friedman and John Gibson)
Urbanisation and poverty reduction. A position paper prepared for The Planning Commission, President’s Office, Tanzania. 2016. (with Luc Christiaensen and Ravi Kanbur) - download original pdf or IOB Analysis and Policy Brief version.
Urbanisation, growth and poverty reduction: the role of secondary towns. 2016. (with Luc Christiaensen and Ravi Kanbur) - IGC blogpost and IOB project page.
De Weerdt, Joachim and Andreas Kutka. 2015. Urbanisation and Youth Employment in Tanzania. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Agricultural Statistics (ICAS VI). Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística – IBGE. p. 575-585. download pdf
More to do on measuring hunger. 19 March 2014. Let's Talk Development Blog. (with Kathleen Beegle, Jed Friedman and John Gibson)
More to do on measuring hunger. 18 February 2014. VoxEU blogpost. (with Kathleen Beegle, Jed Friedman and John Gibson)
Challenges in counting the world's hungry. 23 January 2014. Development Impact Blog. (with Kathleen Beegle, Jed Friedman and John Gibson)
Mobility Pays. 2011. Rural 21. 01/2011: 18-20. download pdf
Measuring Risk Perceptions: why and how. 2005. Social Protection Discussion Papers Series No. 0533, World Bank, Washington, DC. download pdf
Extending Insurance? Funeral Associations in Ethiopia and Tanzania. 2004. OECD Development Centre Working Paper No. 240 (With Stefan Dercon, Tessa Bold and Alula Pankhurst). download pdf
Dozens of CWIQ reports and briefs for districts in Tanzania written between 2004-2007; all available on-line from http://edi-global.com/publications/
Adoption of Superior Banana Varieties in the Kagera Region: Accomplishments and Constraints. 2004. Commissioned by Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC). download pdf
Community Organisations in Rural Tanzania: A Case Study of the Community of Nyakatoke, Bukoba Rural District. 2001. download pdf
Poverty in Tanzania. 1997. Policy Preparatory Report, BVO/97.2, DGIS, Brussels, 1997.
PUBLIC DATA SETS
My colleagues and I have been at the source of many data collection efforts and some of these data sets are thankfully in the public domain. Here is a list with links: