Philip Verwimp

Philip Verwimp
Professor of Development Economics
Université Libre de Bruxelles


Philip obtained his PhD in Economics from the Catholic University of Leuven in January 2003 with a dissertation on the political economy of development and genocide in Rwanda. He specialises in the economic causes and consequences of conflict at the micro-level. Philip has done quantitative work on the death toll of the genocide and on the demography of post-genocide Rwanda. Philip was a Fulbright-Hays Fellow at Yale University and worked for the World Bank as a Poverty Economist. He received the Jacques Rozenberg Award from the Auschwitz Foundation for his dissertation. Philip taught Development Economics at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague and at the Universities of Antwerp, Leuven and Utrecht. Philip was a research fellow from the Fund for Scientific Research (Flanders, Belgium) and visiting fellow at ECARES (2007-2009). He currently holds the Marie and Alain Philippson Chair in Sustainable Human Development at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Université Libre de Bruxelles.
Philip is currently engaged in longitudinal studies of health, schooling and nutrition in Burundi where he is the lead researcher in a partnership between his university and UNICEF-Burundi, involving a.o. impact evaluation. Philip visited the Economics Department of UC Berkeley during the 2013 Fall semester.

Research Interests

Child health and nutrition; Impact Evaluation; Poverty; Inequality; Political Economy; Dictatorship; Civil war; Genocide; Human Rights; Household survey analysis; Central Africa.


1. Political economy of development and conflict

Peasants in Power: The Political Economy of Development and Genocide in Rwanda, 2013, Springer Verlag, May

Violent Conflict and Behavior? Evidence from field experiments in Burundi
with Maarten Voors, Eleonora Nillesen, Erwin Bulte, Robert Lensink and Daan Van Soest, 2012, American Economic Review, April, Vol. 102, No. 2 pp. 941-64
An earlier version of the paper is available as HiCN working paper 71

Rebel Recruitment in a Coffee Exporting Economy
With Eleonora Nillesen, HiCN Working paper 58, 2009

Games in Multiple Arenas and Institutional Design on the eve of the Rwandan genocide
Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, web journal based at Cornell University, Winter 2004

Dictatorship in a single export crop economy
with Bart Capéau, Journal of Theoretical Politics, April 2012, 24, pp.210-234

The political economy of coffee, dictatorship and genocide

European Journal of Political Economy, vol.19 (2003), p.161-181, June 2003

In Dutch:

Een bijdrage uit de criminologie met veldonderzoek in Rwanda
met I.Thiry, Daders van Genocide bevraagd. Panopticon (January 2008)

Individueel en Collectief Gedrag tijdens de Rwandese Genocide, Driemaandelijks Tijdschrift van de Auschwitz Stichting
Brussel, januari-maart 2006, p.10-36

Een eerdere versie werd gepubliceerd als een economische analyse van het gedrag van daders tijdens de Rwandese genocide
Working Paper, Instituut voor International Recht, KU Leuven, September 2003

Politiek geweld is een keuze: Een essay over genocide met een toepassing op Rwanda
Transaktie, Tijdschrift voor de Wetenschap van Oorlog en Vrede, 28, nr 3, 1999, p.375-396

2. Demography of conflict

Schooling, Violent Conflict and Gender in Burundi

with Jan Van Bavel, 2013. World Bank Economic Review, forthcoming.
Also available as HiCN Working Paper 101

Violent Conflict and Gender Inequality: an Overview
with Mayra Buvinic, Monica Das Gupta and Ursula Casaronne. 2013. World Bank Research Observer, February, 28(1)
Also available as HiCN working paper 129

Undernutrition, subsequent risk of Mortality and Civil War in Burundi
Economics and Human Biology, 2012 Vol. 10, Issue 3, pp. 221-231.
The working paper version of this paper is available as HiCN Working Paper 97

Demographic and Socio-Economic Distribution of Excess Mortality in the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda, Journal of African Economies
with Damien de Walque, 2010, Journal of African Economies, 19(2), p.141-162.
Also available as HiCN Working Paper 54

Machetes and Firearms: the Organisation of Massacres in Rwanda
Journal of Peace Research, vol. 43, 1, 5-22, January 2006 (This paper received the Award for Best Paper published in JPR in 2006)

Fertility and Child Survival among Rwandan Refugees
With Jan Van Bavel, PRUS Working Paper 26, December 2004 and European Journal of Population, Special Issue of the Demography of violent conflict, 21:271-290, 2005 
(This paper is also published in Demography of Armed Conflict, edited by H. Hegre, E. Tabeau and H. Urdal, Kluwer Academic Press, 2007)

Death and Survival during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda
Population Studies, vol 58, no.2, pp.233-245, 2004

Testing the double genocide thesis for central and southern Rwanda
Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol 47, no. 4, August 2003, pp.423-442

3. Development Economics and Development Studies

A Micro-Level Perspective on the Dynamics of Conflict, Violence and Development
with P.Justino and T. Brück. (eds.) Oxford University Press, Oxford (forthcoming)

Buying Peace; the Mirage of Demobilizing Rebels
With Olivia D’Aoust and Olivier Sterck, 2013, HiCN working paper 145

Returning Home after Civil War: The Consequences of Forced Displacement for Food Security, Nutrition and Poverty among Burundese Households
With Juan-Carlos Munoz, 2013, HiCN Working paper 123

Poverty Dynamics, Violent Conflict and Convergence in Rwanda
with Patricia Justino, 2013. Review of Income and Wealth, Series 59, nr.1, March, pp.66-90
Also available as Research Working Paper 4, MICROCON (2008)

Business under Fire: Entrepreneurship and Violent Conflict in Developing Countries
with Tilman Brück and Wim Naudé, Journal of Conflict Resolution, February 2013, 57: 3-19

Food Security, Violent Conflict and Human Development: Causes and Consequences
Working Paper 2012-016. United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa, New York, May

The 1990-92 Massacres in Rwanda: a case of social and spatial engineering?
2011, Journal of Agrarian Change vol 11 (3), 396-419
This paper is available as HiCN Working Paper 94

A Phoenix in Flames? Portfolio Choice and Violence in Civil War in rural Burundi
With Eleonora Nillesen, 2010, MICROCON Research Working Paper 25, Brighton: MICROCON

Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Conflict in Developing Countries
With Wim Naudé and Tilman Brück (guest editors) 2011, Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, vol.24, introduction to a special issue

Identifying Conflict in Micro-level Surveys
With Tilman Brück, Patricia Justino and Alexandra Adveenko, 2010, HiCN WP 79

Crop Failure, Civil War and Child Stunting in Rwanda
with Richard Akresh and Tom Bundervoet, 2011, Economic Development and Cultural Change, vol.59, n.4, July, pp.777-810.
Also available as a World Bank Policy Research Paper

Winners and Losers among a Refugee-Hosting Population
With Jean-Francois Maystadt, HiCN Working Paper 60, 2009, Forthcoming in Economic Development and Cultural Change 

Consumption Growth, Household Splits and Civil War
With Tom Bundervoet, HiCN Working Paper 48, 2008  

Health and Civil War in Rural Burundi
With Tom Bundervoet and Richard Akresh, Journal of Human Resources Spring 2009, Vol 44, no 2, pp.536-563
An earlier version of this paper is available as a Policy Research Paper from the World Bank 
A newer version of the paper is available as Research Working Paper 5, MICROCON

The Use and Perception of Weapons before and after Conflict: Evidence from Rwanda
With Cecelle Meijer, Working Paper, Small Arms Survey Geneva, October 2005

An economic profile of peasant perpetrators of genocide
Journal of Development Economics 77 (2005), p.297-323 

What are all the soldiers going to do? Demobilisation, re-intergration and employment in Rwanda
With Marijke Verpoorten, Conflict, Security and Development, 4:1 April 2004, pp.39-57  

Rural households under extreme stress: survival strategies of poor households in post-genocide Rwanda
With Lode Berlage and Marijke Verpoorten, Report for the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR), September 2003 

Agricultural Policy,crop failure and the Ruriganiza famine (1989) in Southern Rwanda: a pre-lude to Genocide?
Centre for Economic Studies, Discussion paper June 2002

Development Ideology, the Peasantry and Genocide: Rwanda Represented in Habyarimana’s Speeches (1973-1994)
Journal for Genocide Research, vol 2, no.3, p.325-361, November 2000   

The Quality of Education at the Institutional and the Individual level: a case study in rural Ethiopia
International Review of Education, 1999, vol 45(2), p.167-196

Estimating Returns to Off-farm activities in Rural Ethiopia
Ethiopian Journal of Economics, vol V, no.2, October 1996, p.27-54

In German:

Bauernideologie und Völkermord in Rwanda
Zeitschrift für Genozidforschung, vol 3, 1-2, 2001, p.47-80

4. Contributions to the Debate on Foreign Policy and Public Policy in Belgium

The Foreign Policy of Belgium during the Zaire/Congo crisis March 1996-March 1997
With Els Vanheusden, in War and Peace in Zaire by H. Adelman and G. Rao, York University, 2003

Belgian Law, the Rwandan Genocide and the Search for an Ethical Foreign Policy
With Martine Schotsmans, Global Jurist, Vol 1, no.3, Article 2, Berkeley Electronic Press (2001)

In Dutch:

Pleidooi voor een groene markteconomie
Vrije Tribune in De Standaard, 8 januari 2008

Toespraak ter gelegenheid van de ontvangst van de Prijs van de Auschwitz Stichting
Jacques Rozenberg, Brussels, 14 December 2004.

Vrije Tribune gepubliceerd in De Standaard van 20-21 Juni, 2002