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Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

PhD projects in applied microeconometrics, in the areas of Political Economy and Development economics (e.g voting, corruption, public finance, mostly in, but not limited to developing countries) or Economics of Education.

Personal profile


Oana Borcan is an Associate Professor in Economics. She holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Gothenburg.

Oana’s research joins policy-relevant topics in political economy and development economics. One strand of her research focuses on the quality and integrity of public service provision, from education or health care to elections. Using field, lab-in-the-field experiments, quasi-experimental designs and behavioural insights, she has investigated the factors that motivate public servants such as school managers and police officers, as well as market participants. Her other research strand is long-run economic development, where she has contributed new data and insights in the relationship between the deep determinants of economic growth, like the Neolithic transition to agriculture, the accumulated experience of state institutions throughout history and economic performance. Oana’s research has been published in top journals, such as the Journal of Public Economics, the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, and the Journal of Economic Growth.

You can read more about Oana's research, teaching and interests on her webpage: https://sites.google.com/view/oanaborcan/home


PhD Supervision Interests

Oana specialises in applied microeconomics, working on topics in Political Economy, Development Economics and Public Economics, such as education, voting, corruption and long-run economic growth. She will gladly supervise students interested in empirical work in these fields, particularly on policy evaluation and estimating causal relationships. Expect to learn popular research designs such as regression discontinuity and difference-in-differences, but also to get guidance on field experiments.   


Areas of Expertise

Public economics, development economics, behavioural economics, political economy, applied microeconometrics, quality of government, motivation and incentives, human capital. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Gothenburg University


Award Date: 6 Nov 2015

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or