Research Group 'Econometrics and Statistical Methods':
The research focus of this group is on nonparametric regression analysis, especially on estimation with low-rank spline functions.
In particular, various generalized additive and mixed models are handled with both frequentist and Bayesian approaches. Flexible modelling of random effects, adaptive curve estimation and dealing with correlation data are just few topics.
Research Group 'Agricultural Economics/Rural Development'
This group focuses on the broad issues in rural economies of developing countries, such as East Asian and African Countries. In particular, a strong emphasis is placed on the linkages between smallholders and consumer markets, and on the ongoing transformation of the food supply chain and the corresponding impacts on rural livelihoods (i.e., farmer income and consumer welfare) both from the theoretical and empirical perspectives.
The specific topics include:
1. The driving forces of the changes in the food supply chain, such as trade regulation changes and consumer preference transformation;
2. Traders’ role in the supply chain;
3. Contract design between players in the supply chain, and the impacts on risk-sharing and contract enforcement;
4. Price transmissions along and beyond the supply chain and the impacts on rural livelihoods;
5. Transferablility of East Asian experience to African countries.
Research Group 'Development Economics'
The main research topic of this group is on the determinants of pro-social behavior. We investigate theoretically and empirically, the effect of monetary and non-monetary factors on behavior. Our field work combines survey and experimental data to the study of a wide range of policy relevant issues. For example we study participation in illegal activities, adoption of environmentally friendly technologies and redistributive preferences. We expect to provide policy makers with evidence which could lead to the design of innovative policies.