Johannes Haushofer

Johannes Haushofer’s research interests lie at the intersection of neurobiology, behavioural economics, and development economics. His research asks whether poverty has particular psychological and neurobiological consequences, and whether these consequences, in turn, affect economic behaviour. To answer these questions, he combines laboratory experiments with randomised controlled trials of development programmes in areas such as health insurance and unconditional cash transfers in Kenya and Sierra Leone. In 2011 Johannes started the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics in Nairobi, a research facility for behavioural economics studies with respondents from the Nairobi slums. Johannes has a BA in Psychology, Physiology and Philosophy from Oxford, a PhD in Neurobiology from Harvard, and a PhD in Economics from Zurich.

Content by Johannes Haushofer
  • Publication - Policy Brief

    Economic activity and living standards during the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence from rural Kenya

    Detailed quantitative evidence on the evolution of economic outcomes during the COVID-19 health crisis in low-income countries remains scarce. This study examines the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns using phone surveys from a representative sample of 11,000 households and 5,000 businesses in one of the poorest regions in Kenya. Surveys started early in the pandemic,...

    12 May 2021 | Edward Miguel, Johannes Haushofer, Michael Walker, Dennis Egger

  • Publication - Project Report

    Understanding economic effects and resilience to COVID-19: Evidence from a cash transfer project in Kenya

    12 May 2021 | Edward Miguel, Dennis Egger, Johannes Haushofer, Michael Walker

  • Project

    Understanding the economic effects and resilience to COVID-19: Evidence from a cash transfer project in Kenya

    COVID-19 is causing negative health and economic effects around the globe. Government measures to reduce transmission such as are challenging in many sub-Saharan African contexts, sparking an active debate about the most effective course of action from both epidemiological and economic perspectives. By using high-frequency phone survey data, this project aims to provide...

    12 May 2021 | Edward Miguel, Johannes Haushofer, Michael Walker, Dennis Egger

  • Project

    Spatial equilibrium effects of positive wealth shocks

    From the perspective of urban economics, a core constraint facing rural populations is likely their inability to concentrate purchasing power geographically. This is driven by the fact that (i) most primary export products (agricultural goods) require a lot of land, relative to labour for production, and (2) are exports are typically low-margin commodities.  We propose to...

    25 Feb 2016 | Edward Miguel, Paul Niehaus, Johannes Haushofer, Michael Walker

  • Blog post

    Cash: A simple remedy for domestic violence?

    In South Asia, 42% of women experience intimate parent violence. In Sub-Saharan Africa, that number ranges from 30% up to 66%. Research from Kenya shows that simple direct cash transfers to households can significantly reduce domestic violence

    23 Apr 2015 | Johannes Haushofer, Catherine Thomas