18 Nov 2014 PhD Defence Maren Elise Bachke (HH)

Norwegian title:
"Veier mot utvikling"

Prescribed subject of the trial lecture:
“External validity in experimental economics: concerns and possible solutions”

Time and place for the trial lecture and the public defence:
Tuesday November 18. at 12.15
Tårnbygningen på NMBU, rom T401

Professor Frode Alfnes (Hovedveileder)
Professor Arild Angelsen (Bi-veileder)

Evaluation committee:
Professor Atle Guttormsen, HH NMBU
Professor Fredrik Carlsson, Gøteborgs Universitet
Professor Jukka Pirttilä, University of Tampere, School of Management

You can read more about the thesis here (in Norwegian):

The doctoral thesis is available for public review at the NMBU library.
Thesis number 2014:73
ISSN 1894-6402
ISBN 978-82-575-1235-4



This thesis consists of four articles and an introduction. It contributes to the debate on development, development aid and poverty reduction, and identifies possible pathways to development. In particular, I study financing of development aid projects, and farmers’ organizations and legal origins contributions to poverty reduction.

Most charity organizations depend on contributions from the general public, but little research is conducted on donor preferences in Norway. Designing a conjoint analysis experiment in which people rate development aid projects by donating money in dictator games, we find that our sample show strong age, gender, regional, and thematic preferences for development aid projects run by non-governmental organizations. We also find significant differences in preferences between female and male donors. We develop a model of charitable donations with uncertainty. We increase the uncertainty of the projects by omitting information about some of the characteristics and varying the presented project information to induce differences in utility derived from the donations.

As predicted by our theory, we find that omitting information about the project reduces donations.

I study the welfare effect of membership in farmers’ organizations in Mozambique using difference-in-difference estimators that control for unobservable selection bias. I find a positive impact of membership on the marketed surplus, the value of agricultural production and on total income, indicating that support to farmers’ organizations can contribute to poverty reduction.

Finally, I study the associations between legal origin in explaining levels of poverty, income inequality, and miserliness of countries, and I find no consistent difference between countries with French and English legal origin on these outcomes. Moreover, French legal origin correlates negatively with income inequality and miserliness in Sub-Saharan Africa.


Published 14. november 2014 - 8:30 - Updated 14. november 2014 - 8:30