Elías Cisneros is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Political Economy at the University of Texas at Dallas since 2023. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Bonn in 2017 and joined the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Göttingen in 2018. Between 2021 and 2023, he was a visiting scholar at the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Texas at Austin. His research areas are the political economy of environmental degradation, development economics, and health economics. In particular, he combines spatial data on biophysical conditions with exogenous economic and political shocks to investigate human behavior and the transformation of landscapes.

In 2018 Elías joined EFForTS as a postdoctoral researcher to study the political incentives of local administrations on forest conversion and palm oil expansion in Indonesia. Results showed increased deforestation rates in the year before district elections and when global world market prices were high. Both factors reinforce each other, consequently driving forest losses, especially in areas where palm oil plantations and land-use certifications are being established.

Since 2021 Elías has been an associated researcher with EFForTS, funding his research through an EU Marie Curie fellowship. He studies the deforestation dynamics after the unprecedented shock of the COVID-19 pandemic. From a global analysis to local analysis, he explores the effects of the pandemic’s political, economic, and health shocks on deforestation. At the sub-national level, he investigates how Indonesia’s labor market structure shapes the COVID-19 impacts on deforestation and land-use change.

For more information about Elías please visit his personal homepage.

For more information about his Marie-Curie project: “From human to planetary health: The global land-use impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic” please visit the project homepage.

Related publications
  • Seufert JD, Python A, Weisser C, Cisneros E, Kis-Katos K, Kneib T (2022) Mapping ex ante risks of COVID-19 in Indonesia using a Bayesian geostatistical model on airport network data. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society) 185: 2121–2155 doi.org/10.1111/rssa.12866
  • Cisneros E, Kis-Katosa K, Nuryartono N (2021) Palm oil and the politics of deforestation in Indonesia. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 108: 102453 doi.org/10.1016/j.jeem.2021.102453