Yonas Alem


Environment for
Visiting address
Vasagatan 1
41124 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 600
40530 Göteborg


Environment for
Visiting address
Vasagatan 1
41124 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 645
40530 Göteborg

About Yonas Alem

I work as the Director of Academic Programs at the Environment for Development (EfD) and an Associate Professor at the Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg. I’m also a researcher at MIT's Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). My research is at the intersection of Development Microeconomics, Behavioral and Experimental Economics, and Environmental Economics with particular focus in the developing regions of Africa and South Asia. My research mostly uses panel data econometrics and impact evaluation methods, primarily large-scale randomized controlled trials. I’m on a research sabbatical at the School of Economics, University of Cape Town, until the end of 2024.

Current Positions and Affiliations

Visiting Professor, University of Cape Town

Director, Academic Programs (EfD)

Associate Professor, Department of Economics

Researcher, Jameel-Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), King-Climate Initiative (K-CAI)

Recent Teaching

Causal Inference and Impact Evaluation (PhD)

Advanced Panel Data Econometrics (PhD)

Development Economics (PhD)

Academic Writing & Research Ethics (PhD)

Randomized Controlled Trials (Graduate Level)

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Alem, Y., Hassen, S., and Köhlin, G. (2023) Decision-making within the Household: The Role of Division of Labor and Differences in Preferences, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, (207):511-528). Open Access:

Alem, Y. Kocher, M., Shurz, S., Carlsson, F. & Lindahl, M. (2023) Distributional Preferences in Adolescent Peer Networks, Experimental Economics. 26: 223-248. Open Access:

Alem, Y., & Tato, G. Shocks and Emotional Well-being: Panel Data Evidence from South Africa World Development, 168: 1-11. Open Access:

Alem, Y., & Dugoua, E. (2022). Passive Learning and Incentivized Communication: A Randomized Controlled Trial in India, Economic Development and Cultural Change, 71(1). WP Version:

Alem, Y., & Colmer, J. (2022). Blame it on the rain: Rainfall variability, consumption smoothing, and subjective well-being in rural Ethiopia, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 104(3): 905-920. Open Access:

Alem, Y., Behrend, H., Belot, M., & Biro, A.. (2021). Mind Training, Stress and Behaviour - a Randomised Experiment, PLOS ONE, 16(11): e0258172. Open Access:

Alem, Y., & Demeke, E. (2020). The Persistence of Energy Poverty: A Dynamic Probit Analysis, Energy Economics, 90: 1-11. Open Access:

Ruhinduka, R., Alem, Y., Eggert, H., & Lybbert, T. (2020). Paddy Post-Harvest: The Role of Preferences in Storage and Processing Decisions of Tanzanian Rice Farmers, European Review of Agricultural Economics, 47(4): 1587-1620.

Alem, Y & Andersson, L. (2019). International Remittances and Private Inter-household Transfers: Exploring the Links, European Journal of Development Research, 31: 902-928.

Alem, Y., Eggert, H., Kocher, M., & Ruhinduka, R. (2018). Why (Field) Experiments on Unethical Behavior are Important: Comparing Stated and Revealed Behavior, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 156: 71-85.

Alem, Y., & Broussard, H. N. (2018). The impact of Safety Nets on Technology Adoption: A Difference- in-differences Analysis, Agricultural Economics, 49(1): 13-24.

Alem, Y., Damte, A., Köhlin, G., & Mekonen, A. (2016). Modelling Household Cooking Fuel Choice: a Random Effects Multinomial Logit Analysis, Energy Economics, 59: 129-137.

Alem, Y., Eggert, H., & Ruhinduka, R. (2015). Improving Welfare through Climate-friendly Agriculture: The Case of the System of Rice Intensification, Environmental and Resource Economics, 62: 243-263.

Alem, Y., (2015). Poverty persistence and intra-household heterogeneity in occupations: Evidence from urban Ethiopia, Oxford Development Studies, 43(1): 20-43.

Alem, Y., Hassen, S., & Köhlin, G. (2014). Adoption and Disadoption of Electric Cookstoves in Urban Ethiopia: Evidence from Panel Data, Resource and Energy Economics, 38: 110-124.

Sterner, T., Alem, Y. et al., (2014). The Environment for Development Initiative: lessons learned in re- search, academic capacity building and policy intervention to manage resources for sustainable growth, Environment and Development Economics, 19(3): 367-391.

Alem, Y., Köhlin, G., & Stage, J. (2014). The Persistence of subjective Poverty in Urban Ethiopia, World Development, 56: 51-61.

Alem, Y., and Köhlin, G. (2013). The Impact of Food Price Inflation on Subjective Well-being: Evidence from Urban Ethiopia, Social Indicators Research, 116: 853-868.

Ekbom, A., Alem, Y., and Sterner, T. (2013). Integrating Soil Science into Agricultural Production Frontiers. Environment and Development Economics, 18(3): 291-308.

Alem, Y., and Söderbom, M., (2012). Household-level consumption in urban Ethiopia: The effects of a large food price shock. World Development, 40: 146-162.

Alem, Y., Bezabih, M., Kassie, M., and Zikhali, P. (2010). Does fertilizer use respond to rainfall variability? Panel data evidence from Ethiopia. Agricultural Economics, 41: 165-175.

Articles Under Consideration

Alem, Y. and Schurz, S. Parental Decision-Making and Educational Investments: Experimental Evi- dence from Tanzania (Revise & Resubmit, Journal of Development Economics).

Alem, Y. & Ruhinduka, R. Saving Africa’s Tropical Forests through Energy Transition: a Randomised Controlled Trial in Tanzania (Revise & Resubmit, The World Bank Economic Review).

Alem, Y., Loeser, J., & Mahajan, A. Intertemporal Choice Bracketing and the Measurement of Time Preferences (Under Review)

Alem, Y., and Abebe, M. Drought, Livestock Holding, and Milk Production: A Difference-in-Differences Analysis (Under Review)

Alem, Y. Mitigating Climate Change through Sustainable Technology Adoption: Insights from Cook- stove Interventions (Under Review)

Ongoing Research

Power Outage, Firm Productivity and Generator Use: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis [Fieldwork Complete]

Solar Boilers, Enterprise Charcoal Use and Air Qualtiy: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Tanzania (With John Loeser and Remidius Ruhinduka). [Fieldwork On-going].

The Impact of Energy Transition on Mirco and Small Enterprises: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Tanzania (With John Loeser, World Bank, and Remidius Ruhinduka, University of Dar es Salaam)

The Scars of Child Labor: Long-term Impacts on Youth Employment and Earnings (with Gidisa Tato, Addis Ababa University)

The Impact of a Large-Scale Climatic Shock on Input Use: Exploring the Mechanisms (With Meseret Abebe)