Stephen C. Smith is Professor of Economics and International Affairs at George Washington University, and is currently UNICEF Senior Fellow at the UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti. Smith received his Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University and has been a Fulbright Research Scholar, a Jean Monnet Research Fellow, a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Nonresident Senior Fellow at Brookings, a Fulbright Senior Specialist, a member of the Advisory Council of BRAC USA, and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. He has twice served as Director of the Institute for International Economic Policy at GWU.

Smith is the co-author with Michael Todaro of Economic Development (12th Edition, Pearson, 2014). He is also author of Ending Global Poverty: A Guide to What Works (paperback edition Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), and co-editor with Jennifer Brinkerhoff and Hildy Teegen of NGOs and the Millennium Development Goals: Citizen Action to Reduce Poverty (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). He is also author or coauthor of about 45 professional journal articles and many other publications.

Smith’s recent research has focused on extreme poverty and strategies and programs to address it; and on the economics of adaptation and resilience to climate change in low-income countries, emphasizing autonomous adaptation by households and communities and its effects, and adaptation financing. Smith is principal investigator on the BASIS-funded "Project on Complementarities of Training, Technology, and Credit in Smallholder Agriculture: Impact, Sustainability, and Policy for Scaling-up in Senegal and Uganda." In addition to development economics, Smith has contributed to the economic analysis of labor participation, including works councils, employee board representation, worker cooperatives, employee ownership, and profit sharing.

Smith organized and served as first director of GWU’s International Development Studies Program. He has done on site research and program work in developing countries including Bangladesh, China, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Peru, Senegal, Slovenia, and Uganda; and has been a consultant for the World Bank, the International Labour Organization (ILO, Geneva), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund (SEAF), and the World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER, Helsinki).

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in May 2012.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 11066
forthcoming in: Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics

Theories of how nonunion employee representation impacts firm performance, affects market equilibria, and generates externalities on labor and society are synthesized. Mandated works councils in Germany provide a particularly strong form of nonunion employee representation. A systematic review of research on the German experience with mandated works councils finds generally...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10641
Ram Fishman, Stephen C. Smith, Vida Bobi?, Munshi Sulaiman

Many development programs are based on short-term interventions, either because of external funding constraints or because it is assumed that impacts persist post program termination ("sustainability"). Using a novel randomized phase-out research method, we provide experimental tests of the effects of program phase-out in the context of a large-scale agricultural...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9402
published in: Inequality and Growth: Patterns and Policy, edited by Kaushik Basu and Joseph Stiglitz, Palgrave MacMillan, 2016, Ch. 3, pp 101-127

Headcount measures of poverty are by far the most common tools for evaluating poverty and gauging progress in global development goals. The headcount ratio, or the prevalence of poverty, and the headcount, or the number of the poor, both convey tangible information about poverty. But both ignore the depth of...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9206
Yao Pan, Stephen C. Smith, Munshi Sulaiman
forthcoming in: American Journal of Agricultural Economics

This paper evaluates causal impacts of a large-scale agricultural extension program for smallholder women farmers on food security in Uganda through a regression discontinuity design that exploits an arbitrary distance-to-branch threshold for village program eligibility. We find eligible farmers experienced significant increases in agricultural production, savings and wage income, which...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8165
published in: Cambridge Journal of Economics, 2016, 40(1), 123-140

Comparing domestic- and foreign-owned firms in Germany, this paper finds that foreign-owned firms are more likely to focus on short-term profit. This influence is particularly strong if the local managers of the German subsidiary are not sent from the foreign parent company. Moreover, the physical distance between the foreign parent...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7593

Many poverty, safety net, training, and other social programs utilize multiple screening criteria to determine eligibility. We apply recent advances in multidimensional measurement analysis to develop a straightforward method for summarizing changes in groups of eligibility (screening) indicators, which have appropriate properties. We show how this impact can differ across...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6862
M. Shahe Emran, Fenohasina Maret-Rakotondrazaka, Stephen C. Smith
published in: Journal of Development Studies, Vol 50, No. 4, pages 481-501, 2014

Using household data from Vietnam, we provide evidence on the effects of education on freedom of spouse choice. We use war disruptions and spatial indicators of schooling supply as instruments. The point estimates indicate that a year of additional schooling reduces the probability of an arranged marriage by about 14...

IZA Policy Paper No. 68
published in: Co-operatives in a Post-Growth Era: Creating Co-operative Economics, Sonja Novkovic and Tom Webb, eds., pages 221-241, 2014, Zed Books (Distributed by University of Chicago Press)

In this paper, we examine major trends and potential for cooperatives in the context of four prominent socio-economic issues: the lack of jobs, economic and social inequality, educational mobility, and the priority need for innovations. We present recent data on the amount and types of job creation in cooperatives. We...