Nicolas Van de Sijpe

Lecturer in EconomicsPhoto of Nicolas Van de Sijpe

Room 538
9 Mappin Street
S1 4DT, UK

Tel: +44 (0) 114 222 3414
Fax: +44 (0) 114 222 3458



Nicolas obtained his first degree, a ‘Licentiaat’ in Economics, from Ghent University in Belgium. He then completed an MSc in Economics and Econometrics at the University of Nottingham, followed by a DPhil at the University of Oxford. Nicolas returned to Ghent University briefly as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, before joining the University of Oxford’s Department of International Development (QEH) as a Departmental Lecturer in Development Economics. He was appointed to his current position as a Lecturer in Economics at the University of Sheffield in September 2014.


“I teach Development Economics to 3rd year undergraduates, and co-teach Research Methods and Introductory Econometrics to 2nd and 3rd year students. I also teach an introductory Stata course to MSc students. My teaching is guided by a number of simple principles. I attempt to engage students by linking what I teach to current debates in the literature, blogs etc. and to what goes on in the real world.

As much as I can, I prefer using research papers over following textbooks, so that students get a better appreciation for what research is about and how they can participate in ongoing debates. I try to teach tools and analytical methods over facts, and to connect these tools to specific applications so that students can immediately see their use.

I also tend to spend a lot of time working out for myself and communicating to students why I teach what I teach, to attempt to keep students motivated.

Mostly, I love combining data with econometric methods to learn something about the world, and more than anything else it is this love that I try to share in my teaching.”

Research Summary and PhD Student Supervision

Most of Nicolas’s recent research uses cross-country data to study the effectiveness of foreign aid. This includes work on the fungibility of education and health aid, and on a new method to identify the causal effect of aid in a panel data context, used to study the domestic absorption of aid.

Nicolas would consider supervising PhD students with a focus on applied econometrics in a number of fields, including development economics and political economy.

Journal articles

Temple, J and Van de Sijpe, N (2014) Foreign aid and domestic absorption, Journal of International Economics (forthcoming).

Van de Sijpe, N (2013) The fungibility of health aid reconsidered, Journal of Development Studies, 49(12), pp. 1746-1754.

Van de Sijpe, N (2013) Is foreign aid fungible? Evidence from the education and health sectors, World Bank Economic Review, 27(2), pp. 320-356.

Rayp, G and Van de Sijpe, N (2007) Measuring and explaining government efficiency in developing countries, Journal of Development Studies, 43(2), pp. 360-381.