Summer School - Experiments in Development Economics 2024

Design, application, and analysis of Game Theory, Randomized Controlled Trials and Quasi-experiments from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Applicate before 15 August 2024.

Target audience

PhD and Graduate students. We encourage interested students from all kinds of scientific backgrounds to participate to stimulate interdisciplinary discussions.


This summer school, organized in a joint effort of the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering and the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, will focus on the application of game theory and field experiments for policy evaluation in a development context. Renowned experts in development will give keynote speeches and have individual tutoring sessions with students to discuss their work.


The use of economic experiments is receiving increasing attention as an adequate empirical tool to analyse human behaviour and determine the cost-efficient interventions to foster development. On the one hand experiments using game theory try to understand the drivers of human decision making. They unravel psychological mechanisms such as risk aversion, altruism, trust etc. that could hinder or foster development. On the other hand, RCTs and quasi-experiments try to understand which intervention works in which context. These experiments study the real world impact of specific policies to formulate advice on best practices to tackle developmental problems.

Our experts in development are ready to introduce you to both topics. You can expect thrilling keynote lectures spiced with illustrations from their broad experience. Furthermore, individual tutoring sessions with the experts give you the opportunity to dig into the details of your own work and obtain personalized feedback.

Dates and venue

16-20 September 2024, from 8h30 to 16h30. 

Faculty board meeting room (keynote lectures) of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Tweekerkenstraat 2, 9000 Gent.

Preliminary programme

The time schedule is given in CET (Brussels, Paris, Madrid).

The summer school will be organized fully on-campus at the Ghent University Faculty of Economics and Business Administration (Tweekerkenstraat 2, 9000 Gent), conveniently located in the vibrant student-quarters, between the historical City Center and the City’s main train station.

During morning sessions, keynote lectures will be organized by a team of internationally renowned experts. Afternoon sessions will focus on the participants’ research ideas. On the first and last day of the program, they will be given the opportunity to present to their peers and the experts. The other days, individual tutoring sessions shall be organized to provide one-on-one expert feedback to the participating students.

Lunches and coffee breaks are provided by the organizers. Dinners are not included, except for a social dinner of Belgian fries on Tuesday the 17th of September.

Day 1: Monday 16 September 2024

08:30-09:00: Registration and Welcome coffee

09:00-10:15: Welcome and introduction by Femke Maes and Wannes Slosse (organizing team)

10:15-10:30: Coffee break

10:30-11:45: Keynote lecture by William Parienté

11:45-13:00: Sandwich lunch

13:00-16:00: Project presentations by the attending students, combined with group discussions


Day 2: Tuesday 17 September 2024

09:00-10:15: Keynote lecture “The invisible family load: mental load and the gender earnings gap in Kenya” by Prof. Francesco Cecchi.

10:15-10:30: Coffee break

10:30-11:45: Keynote lecture "Accountability and Service Provision in Development" by Maarten Voors

11:45-13:00: Sandwich lunch

13:00-16:00: Individual tutoring sessions

16:00-19:00: City tour

19:00-21:00: Fries dinner


Day 3: Wednesday 18 September 2024

09:00-10:15: Keynote lecture “You better be prepared for pitfalls during field work” by Prof. Philip Verwimp

10:15-10:30: Coffee break

10:30-11:45: Keynote lecture "Field work in practice: collecting data" by Catherine Guirkinger

11:45-13:00: Sandwich lunch

13:00-16:00: Individual tutoring sessions


Day 4: Thursday 19 September 2024

09:00-10:15: Keynote lecture on Financial Inclusion by Prof. Lore Vandewalle

10:15-10:30: Coffee break

10:30-11:45: Keynote lecture on Ethical Issues in field experiments by prof. Marcela Ibanez: “Healthy Homes: the effect of house improvements on domestic violence.” 

11:45-13:00: Sandwich lunch

13:00-16:00: Individual tutoring sessions

17:00-19:00: Kayak trip in the City Center


Day 5: Friday 20 September 2024

09:00-10:15: Keynote “On the origin of “preferences”” by Prof. Ferdinand Vieider

10:15-10:30: Coffee break

10:30-11:45: Keynote lecture “On the origin of “preferences”” by Prof. Ferdinand Vieider

11:45-13:00: Sandwich lunch

13:00-16:00: Project presentations by the attending students, combined with group discussions


The application deadline is 15 August 2024. You can register through this link. Participants also have to submit a research proposal. This can in any stage: from a vague idea to an already published paper you want to discuss. Research proposals (attached as file or written description in the e-mail) should be sent to and

Registration is free for participants from Ghent University and the other Flemish Universities. For other participants, there is a registration fee of EUR 100.

Accepted participants need to provide their own accommodation (suggestions) and transport. 

Number of participants

Maximum 50



Evaluation method

To succesfully complete this course, participants have to send in a research proposal, attend the keynotes, at least 3 individual tutoring sessions, and the presentations on Monday- and Friday-afternoon.

After successful participation, the Doctoral Schools will add this course to the UGent Doctoral candidates' curriculum of the Doctoral Training Programme in Oasis. Please note that this can take up to one to two months after completion of the course.

Meet the experts

  • Prof. Ranoua Bouchouicha, Ghent University:
    Ranoua is assistant professor in Behavioural Economics and Finance at the department of Economics at  Ghent University. Her main research interests are decisions under risk, behavioural finance, and cognitive economics.
  • Prof. Francesco Cecchi, Wageningen University:
    Francesco is Associate Professor at the Department of Development Economics of Wageningen University. His research interests lie at the intersection of experimental and development economics. He aims to understand the processes behind inequality, poverty, and sustainable development, to better inform economic theory as well as policymaking—using rigorous, transparent, and evidence-based methods.
  • Prof. Catherine Guirkinger, University of Namur:
    Catherine is professor of economics in the Center for Research in Economic Development (CRED) at the University of Namur (Belgium). Her main area of research is the economics of households and extended families, particularly in Africa. She also has a strong interest in economic history and in particular on the impacts of colonization on local populations.
  • Prof. Marcela Ibanez,  Georg-August University Göttingen:
    Marcela is professor of Development Economics at the Georg-August University of Göttingen, Germany.  She investigates the origin and development of cooperative norms and their effect on development outcomes.  Her research aims to understand how policies can decrease discrimination and promote gender inequality, law compliance, and pro-environmental behavior.
  • Prof. William Parienté, Université Catholique de Louvain:
    William is associate professor of Economic at UCLouvain, Belgium. His fields of interest include Development Econmoics, Labor Economics and Policy Evaluation.
  • Prof. Lore Vandewalle, Genova Graduate Institute & KU Leuven:
    Lore is a Professor of economics at the Geneva Graduate Institute and at the KU Leuven. Her research mainly focuses on financial inclusion, micro-enterprise development and gender in India, Bangladesh and Uganda. She has also been working on political reservations and public good provision in India.
  • Prof. Philip Verwimp, Université Libre de Bruxelles:
    Philip Verwimp teaches economics and impact evaluation at the Université libre de Bruxelles and the University of Antwerp. He is the co-founder and co-director of the Households in Conflict Network ( and has twenty years of experience in data collection in the field. His research interests are in health, education, poverty, migration, disasters and violence.
  • Prof. Ferdinand Vieider, Ghent University:
    Ferdinand is professor of Applied Microeconomics at Ghent University and the director of RISLαβ. He investigates the determinants of preferences, and the effects of preferences on behaviour. He employs a variety of tools, including formal modelling, natural experiments, randomised controlled trials, and lab experiments.
  • Prof. Maarten Voors, Wageningen University:
    Maarten is Associate Professor at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. His main field is development economics and his research focuses on institutions, development and behaviour. For this, he uses a variety of methods including surveys, lab and field experiments and econometric analysis.

Accommodation suggestions



Contact us

The organizing team is happy to help you!

Contact Femke Maes ( for all questions related to the content of the Summer School and research proposals. Contact Wannes Slosse ( for all questions related to applications and finances.

Do you have yet another question? Choose your favourite organizer.