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.

HiCN Working Papers Series


Fighting Covid-19 amidst Civil Conflict: Micro-level evidence from Burkina Faso

Philip Verwimp,  Mohammad H. Sepahvand

How does violent conflict affect the spread of Covid-19? In this paper we analyze how violent conflict influences the adoption of preventative measures and infection […]


The Spread of COVID-19 in Belgium: a Municipality-Level Analysis

Philip Verwimp, 

In this contributionI analyse socio-economic and demographic correlates of the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic across Belgian municipalities. I am interested in the onset of […]


Ethno-Regional Favoritism and the Political Economy of School Test Scores

Philip Verwimp, 

The northern provinces of Burundi have suffered from an inferior education system since independence. This paper shows that the current, northern-led regime has chosen a […]


The Microeconomics of Violent Conflict

Philip Verwimp,  Patricia Justino,  Tilman Brück, 

In our brief review, we take stock of the emergence, in the last decade, of the “microeconomics of violent conflict” as a new subfield of […]


Violent Conflict, Transport Costs, and Poverty: An instrumental variables approach with geospatial data for Nigeria

Philip Verwimp,  Federico Barra Claudia Berg

The nexus of conflict, transportation costs, and poverty is one which has received scant attention in the literature. This paper explores the effect of conflict […]


Childhood aspirations, occupational outcomes and exposure to violence: Evidence from Burundi

Philip Verwimp,  Lionel Jeusette

Recent evidence points at the importance of childhood aspirations for our understanding of poverty and development. But how are these affected by the exposure to […]


Migration, Forced Displacement and Fertility during Civil War: A Survival Analysis

Philip Verwimp,  Davide Osti Gudrun Østby

The civil war in Burundi (1993-2005) caused a mass flow of refugees into neighboring countries as well as a large number of internally dis- placed […]


The Long-Term Effects of Conflict on Welfare: Evidence from Burundi

Philip Verwimp,  Marion Mercier Rama Lionel Ngenzebuke

We investigate the relationship between exposure to conflict and poverty dynamics over time, using original three-waves panel data for Burundi which tracked individuals and reported […]


Sexual Violence in Burundi: Victims, perpetrators, and the role of conflict

Philip Verwimp,  Nathalie E. J. Dijkman Catrien Bijleveld

In this paper we shed light on sexual violence in Burundi in the aftermath of its civil war. By presenting the results of a mixed-method […]


Extortion with Protection: Understanding the effect of rebel taxation on civilian welfare in Burundi

Philip Verwimp,  Rachel Sabates-Wheeler

Using a panel dataset from Burundi where information on protection payments during the 10 year civil war were collected, we test the relationship between payments, […]


Measuring Conflict Exposure in Micro-Level Surveys

Tilman Brück,  Patricia Justino,  Philip Verwimp,  Andrew Tedesco Alexandra Avdeenko

Violent conflict is a key obstacle to overall economic development and specifically to human development. Conflicts vary greatly in their nature – hence the impacts of conflicts […]


Abandoning Coffee under the Threat of Violence and the Presence of Illicit Crops. Evidence from Colombia

Ana María Ibáñez,  Philip Verwimp,  Juan Carlos Muñoz Mora

This paper explores the importance of the risk of violence on the decision making of rural households, using a unique panel data set for Colombian […]


Buying Peace: The Mirage of Demobilizing Rebels

Philip Verwimp,  Olivia D’Aoust Olivier Sterck

In 2009, hostilities were brought to an end in Burundi when the FNL rebel group laid down weapons. In exchange for peace, ex-rebels benefited from […]


Micro-level dynamics of conflict, violence and development: A new analytical framework

Patricia Justino,  Tilman Brück,  Philip Verwimp, 

Violent conflict is arguably one of the most important challenges facing the world today. The incidence of international and civil wars has decreased in recent […]


Violent Conflict and Gender Inequality: An Overview

Philip Verwimp,  Mayra Buvinic Monica Das Gupta Ursula Casabonne

Violent conflict, a pervasive feature of the recent global landscape, has lasting impacts on human capital, and these impacts are seldom gender neutral. Death and […]


Returning Home after Civil War: Food security, nutrition and poverty among Burundese households

Philip Verwimp,  Juan Carlos Muñoz-Mora

Civil wars often force people to leave their homes. Displaced populations run higher risk in terms of disease, hunger and death, something that is well-documented. […]


Schooling, Violent Conflict and Gender in Burundi

Philip Verwimp,  Jan Van Bavel

We investigate the effect of exposure to violent conflict on human capital accumulation in Burundi. We combine a nationwide household survey with secondary sources on […]


Malnutrition, Subsequent Risk of Mortality and Civil War in Burundi

Philip Verwimp, 

The paper investigates the effect of child malnutrition on the risk of mortality in Burundi, a very poor country heavily affected by civil war. We […]


The 1990-1992 Massacres in Rwanda: A Case of Spatial and Social Engineering?

Philip Verwimp, 

Until now, two main sets of arguments have dominated the debate on the nature of the massacres that were perpetrated in Rwanda before the 1994 […]


Identifying Conflict and Violence in Micro-Level Surveys

Tilman Brück,  Patricia Justino,  Philip Verwimp,  Alexandra Avdeenko

The overall goal of the report is to increase the capacity of researchers and policy makers to identify comparatively, and across time, how individuals, households […]


A Phoenix in Flames? Portfolio Choice and Violence in Civil War in Rural Burundi

Eleonora Nillesen,  Philip Verwimp, 

This paper challenges the idea that farmers revert to subsistence farming when confronted with violence from civil war. While there is an emerging macroeconomic consensus […]


Does Conflict affect Preferences? Results from Field Experiments in Burundi

Maarten Voors,  Eleonora Nillesen,  Philip Verwimp,  Erwin Bulte Robert Lensink Daan van Soest

We use experimental data from 35 randomly selected communities in Burundi to examine the impact of exposure to conflict on social-, risk- and time preferences. […]


Civil War and the Welfare of Extended Households: Evidence from Longitudinal Data from Burundi

Philip Verwimp,  Tom Bundervoet, 

We analyse the effect of violence and rebellion on the evolution of household welfare. We collected new panel data for Burundi (1999-2007) in which we […]


Winners and Losers Among a Refugee-Hosting Population

Jean-Francois Maystadt,  Philip Verwimp, 

Every year, thousands of refugees are forced to leave their countries of origin and are hosted by their neighboring countries. However, very little is known […]


Rebel Recruitment in a Coffee Exporting Economy

Eleonora Nillesen,  Philip Verwimp, 

Grievance and reduced opportunity costs are two popular ideas within the civil war literature to explain participation in violent rebellion. We test both hypotheses at […]


The Demographic and Socio-Economic Distribution of Excess Mortality during the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda

Damien de Walque,  Philip Verwimp, 

There is an extensive literature on violent conflicts such as the 1994 Rwandan genocide, but few papers examine the profiles of victims and perpetrators, or […]


Consumption Growth, Household Splits and Civil War

Philip Verwimp,  Tom Bundervoet, 

We analyse the effect of civil war on household welfare. Using Burundian panel data for the 1998-2007 period in which we re-interviewed original as well […]


Social Capital and the Rwandan Genocide A Micro-Level Analysis

Philip Verwimp,  Shanley Pinchotti

This paper applies the theory of social capital to the unfolding of genocide in a Rwandan community located 50 km south of the capital. Using […]


Civil War, Crop Failure, and the Health Status of Young Children

Richard Akresh,  Philip Verwimp, 

Economic shocks at birth have lasting impacts on children’s health several years after the shock. We calculate height for age z-scores for children under age […]


Poverty Dynamics, Violent Conflict and Convergence in Rwanda

Patricia Justino,  Philip Verwimp, 

Civil war and genocide in the 1990-2000 period in Rwanda – a small, landlocked, densely populated country in Central Africa – have had differential economic […]


Civil War and Economic Sanctions: Analysis of Anthropometric Outcomes in Burundi

Tom Bundervoet,  Philip Verwimp, 

This paper investigates the impact of the latest civil war and the subsequent economic embargo in Burundi on the health status of the Burundese children. […]


An Economic Profile of Peasant Perpetrators of Genocide: Micro-level Evidence from Rwanda

Philip Verwimp, 

This paper presents the results of a research project in which we have traced 350 Rwandan households who were part of a rural household survey […]