2nd University of Pretoria PhD Workshop

11 April 2022
Event type: Webinar, Workshop
Keyword: Education
JEL Code: A23, E50, E60, O23
Event date: 24 May 2022, 4:00pm
to 21 June 2022, 5:00pm

Background and Objective: The Second University of Pretoria Economics PhD Workshop, in cooperation with ERSA, brings together PhD students, postdocs, supervisors, academics, HoDs and practitioners. In addition to presentations and general discussion. Five young assistant professors, with papers already published in major journals, discuss and provide detailed comments on the papers presented. The PhDs have a platform in which to present and receive feedback at the highest level and also to build a valuable network.


  • Vera Eichenauer (ETH Zurich)
  • Valentin Lang (University of Mannheim)
  • Eduardo Montero (University of Chicago)
  • Jesse Naidoo (University of Pretoria)
  • Eleni Yitbarek (University of Pretoria)


Furthermore, Augustin Fosu (Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) University of Ghana) and Nathan Nunn (Harvard University) will take part in the Workshop.

Workshop Date and Location:  21 June 2022, University of Pretoria, South Africa (some speakers will join online)

About the Discussants: Vera Eichnauer is as a post-doctoral researcher at the dynamic Swiss Economic Institute KOF at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. During the academic year 2021/2022, she is a visiting scholar at Aix-Marseille School of Economics. She studies and teaches questions related to international and Swiss political economy with a focus on China. She is a CESifo affiliate member. She has consulted with the World Bank Group, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA, the French Development Agency AFD, the German development cooperation GIZ, and responsAbility AG, an Asset Manager for development investments. Her research has appeared in Economic Inquiry, European Economic Review, World Development, Journal of Comparative Economics, Economics and Politics, and Review of International Organizations.

Valentin Lang is an Assistant Professor of International Political Economy and Development at the University of Mannheim. Previously, he was at the universities of Zurich, Cambridge, Heidelberg, and Paris and worked for the IMF and the OECD. His research addresses the political, economic and distributional implications of globalization and global governance. Current projects examine the political economy of international economic cooperation, analyze the backlash against globalization, and study the causes and consequences of economic inequalities. In his work, he usually combines economics with political science and focus on statistical methods for causal inference. For his research, he was awarded the Fritz-Grunebaum-Award and the Prize for Excellence in Applied Development Research. His research has appeared in Journal of Development Economics, Review of International Organizations and Journal of Politics.

Eduardo Montero is an Assistant Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. His research centers on understanding how institutions and culture affect development and development policy in Central America and Central Africa. His broader interests relate to development economics, political economy, economic history, and the intersections between these interrelated topics. Eduardo is a Faculty Research Fellow with the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and an affiliate with the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD). Eduardo graduated from Stanford University with a BA in economics in 2010 and an MS in statistics in 2011. He earned his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 2018. His research has appeared in American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Political Economy and Journal of the European Economic Association.

Jesse Naidoo is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He is a graduate from the Universities of Chicago and Cape Town. His research interests are economics of the family and economic demography. His current research is focused on the testing and estimation of life-cycle models of fertility choice. His research has appeared in Economic Journal.

Eleni Yitbarek obtained her PhD in Development Economics and MSc in Public Policy and Human Development from Maastricht University. Prior to joining Maastricht University, she worked for the National Bank of Ethiopia and the Netherlands Development Organization, SNV. In 2014, she received the World Bank Group Fellowship. Currently, she is a senior lecturer at the University of Pretoria, Economics department. Her research has appeared in Economics Letters, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Contemporary Economic Policy, African Development Review and Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics.


PhD students at African universities and PhD students outside the continent working on Africa-related topics, are invited to submit their full papers to manoel.bittencourt@up.ac.za, by 15 May 2022.

Limited funds are available to cover the travel and accommodation costs for participants based in South Africa.

Selection committee: Manoel Bittencourt and Jesse Naidoo. Acceptance notes with detailed information about the Workshop will be sent by 24 May 2022.

For more information from University of Pretoria: https://bit.ly/3xfLtHR

Disclaimer: ERSA will cover travel and accommodation costs for a limited number of participants from South African institutions. Places are limited and funding for attending the workshop is entirely at the discretion of the organizer. While the training is free of charge, including flights and accommodation, if necessary, delegates are expected to pay for any other expenses incurred. Flights cannot be cancelled and any changes are at the delegate’s own expense and responsibility.

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