Edward Miguel

Edward Miguel

Title
Professor
Department
Dept of Economics
Phone
(510) 642-4361
Fax
(510) 642-6615
Research Expertise and Interest
Africa, education, development economics, human capital, health, ethnic divisions, social capital, civil conflict, war, pre-analysis plans, water.
Research Description

Ted's main research focus is African economic development, including work on the economic causes and consequences of violence; the impact of ethnic divisions on local collective action; interactions between health, education, environment, and productivity for the poor; and methods for transparency in social science research. He has conducted field work in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and India.

In the News

August 3, 2020

Treating children for worms yields long-term benefits, says new study

Children who receive sustained treatment against common parasitic infections grow up to achieve a higher standard of living, with long-lasting health and economic benefits extending to their communities, according to new findings from a research team led by a University of California, Berkeley, economist.
June 10, 2020

COVID-19 in the global south: Economic impacts and recovery

COVID-19 is threatening the health and economic security of communities around the world, with dire implications for those living in poverty. As the pandemic unfolds, the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) is committed to sharing practical insights that can support evidence-based responses in the Global South.
April 23, 2020

Nine faculty elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Nine UC Berkeley faculty members from a wide range of disciplines have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), a 240-year-old organization honoring the country’s most accomplished artists, scholars, scientists and leaders.
May 15, 2015

The Economics of Change

Philomathia Innovation Seed Fund recipient Edward Miguel applies the tools of economics to such social issues as access to affordable energy and the possible links between climate and conflict.

August 10, 2011

Treasury official who spotted $2 trillion error is recent economics Ph.D.

John Bellows may not have the household-name recognition of Timothy Geithner, Ben Bernanke or Christina Romer. But the U.S. Treasury Department’s acting assistant secretary has generated widespread buzz in finance and policy circles since finding a $2 trillion error in the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) calculations it used to support a historic decision to downgrade the nation’s credit rating.

April 22, 2011

Symposium to report ROI on programs investing in girls

Positive outcomes and lessons to be learned from new approaches to help girls and women struggling in developing countries will be explored at an April 28 symposium to be hosted by the Center for Evaluation of Global Action (CEGA), based at UC Berkeley.

November 23, 2009

Climate change could boost incidence of civil war in Africa, study finds

Climate change could increase the likelihood of civil war in sub-Saharan Africa by over 50 percent within the next two decades, according to a new study led by a team of researchers at University of California, Berkeley, and published in the online issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

In the News

August 3, 2020

Treating children for worms yields long-term benefits, says new study

Children who receive sustained treatment against common parasitic infections grow up to achieve a higher standard of living, with long-lasting health and economic benefits extending to their communities, according to new findings from a research team led by a University of California, Berkeley, economist.
June 10, 2020

COVID-19 in the global south: Economic impacts and recovery

COVID-19 is threatening the health and economic security of communities around the world, with dire implications for those living in poverty. As the pandemic unfolds, the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) is committed to sharing practical insights that can support evidence-based responses in the Global South.
April 23, 2020

Nine faculty elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Nine UC Berkeley faculty members from a wide range of disciplines have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), a 240-year-old organization honoring the country’s most accomplished artists, scholars, scientists and leaders.
May 15, 2015

The Economics of Change

Philomathia Innovation Seed Fund recipient Edward Miguel applies the tools of economics to such social issues as access to affordable energy and the possible links between climate and conflict.

August 10, 2011

Treasury official who spotted $2 trillion error is recent economics Ph.D.

John Bellows may not have the household-name recognition of Timothy Geithner, Ben Bernanke or Christina Romer. But the U.S. Treasury Department’s acting assistant secretary has generated widespread buzz in finance and policy circles since finding a $2 trillion error in the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) calculations it used to support a historic decision to downgrade the nation’s credit rating.

April 22, 2011

Symposium to report ROI on programs investing in girls

Positive outcomes and lessons to be learned from new approaches to help girls and women struggling in developing countries will be explored at an April 28 symposium to be hosted by the Center for Evaluation of Global Action (CEGA), based at UC Berkeley.

November 23, 2009

Climate change could boost incidence of civil war in Africa, study finds

Climate change could increase the likelihood of civil war in sub-Saharan Africa by over 50 percent within the next two decades, according to a new study led by a team of researchers at University of California, Berkeley, and published in the online issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
February 9, 2021
Kelsey Piper
Even in the richest countries in the world, the pandemic has devastated millions. Developing countries have faced the same challenges with far fewer resources to absorb them with. How have their people fared? A new paper aims to solve that problem in the most direct way possible — by surveying tens of thousands of people in developing countries about what COVID-19 has been like for them. The paper, co-authored by UC Berkeley's Edward Miguel gives us a new window into what it has been like to live through 2020 in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, Nepal, the Philippines, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone. For more on this, see our press release at Berkeley News.
August 6, 2020
Kelsey Piper
Twenty years after a mass effort in Kenyan schools to treat children for common intestinal parasites, researchers including UC Berkeley's Edward Miguel returned to the original Kenyan sample where they'd first discovered the potentially life-changing impacts of mass deworming campaigns. Following up with the original participants 20 years later, they wanted to answer the question: Are the benefits they initially discovered from childhood deworming treatment - which included more time in school and higher adult incomes - still showing up? For more on this, see our press release at Berkeley News.
August 4, 2020
Children who receive sustained treatment against common parasitic infections grow up to achieve a higher standard of living, with long-lasting health and economic benefits extending to communities, according to research released this week by the University of California, Berkeley. "We found that, in Kenya, this modest investment led to significant improvements in the lives of infected individuals and for whole communities, and the benefits are long-lasting," said lead author Edward Miguel, a UC Berkeley development economist. For more on this, see our press release at Berkeley News.
December 2, 2019
Nurith Aizenman
Every dollar of unconditional cash aid provided to households in a poor, rural area of Kenya by the GiveDirectly nonprofit increased total economic activity in the area by $2.60, according to a study led by environmental and resource economics professor Edward Miguel, faculty director of Berkeley's Center for Effective Global Action. Professor Miguel and his colleagues analyzed the benefits of the charity's distribution of $1,000 to 10,500 randomly selected households. "That's a really big income transfer," he says. "About three-quarters of the income of the [recipient] households for a year on average." Speaking of the way those infusions benefited the entire community, he says: "The cash transfers were something like 17% of total local income -- local GDP. ... That money goes to local businesses. ... They sell more. They generate more revenue. And then eventually that gets passed on into labor earnings for their workers." Link to audio. Stories on this topic have appeared in dozens of sources around the world, including Vox, Mother Nature Network, and Daily Kos.
November 26, 2019
Unconditional cash transfers now form 70% of the welfare programs used by 142 countries, and a new working paper co-authored by environmental and resource economics professor Edward Miguel, faculty director of Berkeley's Center for Effective Global Action, and graduate economics students Dennis Egger and Michael Walker, is easing some doubts economists have had about their effectiveness in reducing poverty. Looking at the benefits of the GiveDirectly charity's distribution of $1,000 to 10,000 randomly selected households in rural Kenya between 2014 and 2017, the authors found that consumption rose by 13% not just among the households that received the grants, but also among their neighbors, who'd not received any money. The researchers estimated that the local GDP rose by $2.60 for every dollar awarded.
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December 18, 2018
Sachin Waikar
In some developing countries -- such as Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, and Liberia -- large-scale foreign-aid efforts fail to reach people in rural areas, and a new study co-authored by economics professor Edward Miguel compared different strategies to overcome that shortfall. According to the lead author of the report: "Community-driven development was supposed to be transformational. ... The idea of empowering the poorest people to take more control over local governance was inspiring. But research showed it wasn't having as much effect as everyone hoped. Not surprisingly, it turns out that restructuring political hierarchies that have been in place for a very long time isn't something outsiders can do easily." But a more focused strategy identifying and encouraging the use of talented "technocrats" who are not part of the ruling elite has proven more effective, as well as less expensive, in underserved regions.
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