2023 German Development Economics Conference

The 2023 German Development Economics conference will take place on 1-2 June, 2023, and will be hosted by the Technical University Dresden. The annual conference brings together international scholars and researchers of development economics and neighboring fields. Plenary sessions with keynote speakers, parallel sessions with contributed papers, and poster sessions will reflect the current state of research in development economics and provide a forum for exchange for researchers and practitioners.

©  Klaus Gigga
Keynote Speakers

Michèle Tertilt (University of Mannheim)
Stelios Michalopoulos (Brown University)

Local Organizers

Christian Leßmann (Technical University Dresden).

Selection Committee

Axel Dreher (Heidelberg University), Andreas Fuchs (University of Göttingen), Michael Grimm (University of Passau), Isabel Günther (ETH Zürich), Krisztina Kis-Katos (University of Göttingen), Christian Leßmann (TU Dresden) and Matthias Schündeln (Goethe University Frankfurt).

Call for Papers

The call for papers can be found here.


Please submit your paper here.


An overview of the conference program will be made available in due time.

Research of Members

Hoeffler, Anke; Sterck, Olivier, 2022. Is Chinese aid different?. In: World Development. Elsevier. 156, 105908. ISSN 0305-750X. eISSN 1873-5991. Available under: doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2022.105908.

China is commonly depicted as a "rogue" donor, using aid to further its own interests abroad and secure access to natural resources. Especially China’s involvement in African countries has been criticized for being guided by self-interest rather than recipient need or merit. For the period 2000-2012, we compare China’s aid allocation behaviour to that of the five largest donor countries globally: France, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the USA. We use regression analysis and a rigorous variance decomposition method to measure the importance of various factors in predicting aid commitments. We find that donors differ markedly in how they allocate aid. While Germany, Japan, the USA, and the UK assign high importance to recipient need, France’s and China’s allocation models are, for a large part, driven by variables that relate to self-interest: trade in the case of France, and the adherence to the "One-China policy" in the case of China. However, China is not a purely selfish donor. As most Western donors, China commits more aid to poorer countries. Furthermore, we find no evidence that commercial interests, such as trade or access to natural resources, determine Chinese aid allocation. This latter result contrasts with Western donors, which allocate more aid to their trade partners. France and the UK also commit significantly more aid to their former colonies. In conclusion, the claim that China’s aid allocation is different must be qualified.

The study made use of a dataset published by Axel Dreher and Andreas Fuchs - also members of the Research Group on Development Economics - together with Brad Parks, Austin M. Strange and Michael J. Tierney in the article "Apples and Dragon Fruits: The Determinants of Aid and Other Forms of State Financing from China to Africa".

Further Information

Günther, Isabel, Harttgen, Kenneth, Seiler, Johannes and Utzinger, Jürg. An index of access to essential infrastructure to identify where physical distancing is impossible. Nature Communications 13, 3355 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-30812-8.

To identify areas at highest risk of infectious disease transmission in Africa, we develop a physical distancing index (PDI) based on the share of households without access to private toilets, water, space, transportation, and communication technology and weight it with population density. Our results highlight that in addition to improving health systems, countries across Africa, especially in the western part of Africa, need to address the lack of essential domestic infrastructure. Missing infrastructure prevents societies from limiting the spread of communicable diseases by undermining the effectiveness of governmental regulations on physical distancing. We also provide high-resolution risk maps that show which regions are most limited in protecting themselves. We find considerable spatial heterogeneity of the PDI within countries and show that it is highly correlated with detected COVID-19 cases. Governments could pay specific attention to these areas to target limited resources more precisely to prevent disease transmission.

Further Information



The German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) is one of the world’s leading research institutions and think tanks for global sustainable development. It contributes, through research, policy advice and training, to finding answers to global questions affecting our future.

The IDOS Research Programme“Transformation of Economic and Social Systems” is looking for a

Doctoral Researcher in Development Economics and/or Health Economics (f/m/diverse), Part time 70% (27.3 hours/week)

The position is to be filled from 01 May 2023 for the duration of 3 years. A contract extension may be possible. The doctoral researcher is a member of the project “Gender inequality, child labor, and schooling: Evidence on social policies to mitigate the impact of economic shocks” which is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and implemented jointly with the Institute of Health Economics (IHE) of the Leibniz University Hannover.

Find the full information here.

Event Information

Doctoral Workshop 2022

The Doctoral Workshop 2022 of the Research Group on Development Economics of the German Economic Association was organized by Professor Tilman Brück (IGZ, HU Berlin & ISDC) and took place on September 22nd and 23rd, 2022 in Berlin, Germany. The workshop’s aim was to enable doctoral students to improve their ongoing research, advise them on the preparation of a refereed journal article, practice academic discussions and build informal networks.

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