Steven A. Block

Professor of International Economics


Education
  • BA, Brandeis University
  • MPP, Public Policy, Harvard University
  • PhD, Political Economy, Harvard University

Biography

Steven A. Block is Professor of International Economics and Director of the Program on International Development. His research focuses on food and agricultural policy in developing countries, and on the political economy of policy reform. Much of his work concentrates on sub-Saharan Africa and his current research focuses on agricultural productivity there. He is co-author of a leading textbook on development economics. His other recent publications include: “The Political Economy of Agricultural Trade Interventions in Africa” and “Revisiting African Agriculture: Institutions and Productivity Growth” (both with Robert Bates), “Does Child Undernutrition Persist Despite Poverty Reduction in Developing Countries? Quantile Regression Results” (with Will Masters and Priya Bhagowalia), and “Up in Smoke: Tobacco Use, Expenditure on Food, and Child Malnutrition in Developing Countries” (with Patrick Webb). He teaches courses on development economics, agricultural policy, and political economy. Professor Block earned his MPP and PhD (in political economy) from Harvard University.


Curriculum Vitae - Steven A. Block

Professional Activities
  • Consultant to the World Bank and USAID on numerous technical assistance missions in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia
  • Senior Analyst, Abt Associates, Inc. (1984-95)

Affiliations
  • Faculty Appointment, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
  • The Program in International Development
  • Institute for Human Security

Research Interests
  • Agricultural development
  • Economic growth
  • Political economy
  • Development economics, particularly food and agricultural policy, growth, and political economy

ARTICLES
• “Revisiting African Agriculture: Institutions and Productivity Growth,” with Robert Bates. Journal of Politics, Vol. 75, No.2, April 2013.
• “The Post-Independence Decline and Rise of Agricultural Productivity in sub-Saharan Africa,” Oxford Economic Papers, forthcoming 2013. Preliminary publication as NBER Working Paper No. 16481.
• “The New Institutionalism and Africa,” with Robert Bates, Anke Hoeffler, and Ghada Fayad. Journal of African Economies, forthcoming, 2013.
• "Does Child Undernutrition Persist Despite Poverty Reduction in Developing Countries? Quantile Regression Results" with Will Masters and Priya Bhagowalia, Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 48, No. 12, Dec. 2012.
• “Support for Agriculture During Economic Transformation: Impacts on Poverty and Undernutrition,” with Patrick Webb. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2012 109 (31) 12309-12314; published ahead of print December 20, 2010, doi:10.1073/pnas.
• “Political Institutions and Agricultural Trade Interventions in Africa,” with Robert Bates. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 93, No. 2: 317-23 (2010).
• “HIV/AIDS, Undernutrition, and Food Insecurity,” with L. Ivers, P. Webb, J. Coates, and K. Freedberg; Clinical Infectious Diseases Journal. 2009:49 (1 October).
• “Up in Smoke: Tobacco Use, Expenditure on Food, and Child Malnutrition in Developing Countries,” with Patrick Webb. Economic Development & Cultural Change, Vol. 58, No. 1 (October, 2009).
• "Maternal Nutrition Knowledge Versus Schooling as Determinants of Child Micronutrient Status," Oxford Economic Papers, Vol. 59 (2007): 330-353. Preliminary publication as Harvard University, Center for International Development, Working Paper No. 93; Tufts University School of Nutrition Science & Policy, FPAN Working Paper No. 10.
Block, Steven, Paul M. Vaaler and Burkhard N. Schrage. "Elections, Opportunism, Partisanship and Sovereign Ratings in Developing Countries." Review of Development Economics 10, no. 1 (2006): 154-170.
• Block, Steven, Paul Vaaler and Burkhard Schrage. "Counting the Investor Vote: Political Business Cycle Effects on Sovereign Bond Spreads in Developing Countries." Journal of International Business Studies 36, no. 1 (2005): 62-88.
• Block, Steven. "Nutrition Knowledge and the Demand for Micronutrient-Rich Foods: Evidence from Indonesia." Journal of Development Studies 40, no. 6 (2004): 82-104.
Webb, Patrick. "Nutrition Information versus Formal Schooling as Inputs to Child Nutrition." Economic Development and Cultural Change 52, no. 4 (2004): 801-820.
• Block, Steven. "Macro Shocks and Micro Outcomes: Child Nutrition During Indonesia's Crisis." Economics and Human Biology 2, no. 1 (2004): 21-44.
• Block, Steven and Paul Vaaler. "The Price of Democracy: Sovereign Risk Ratings and Bond Spreads, and Political Business Cycles in Developing Countries." Journal of International Money and Finance 23, no. 6 (2004): 917-946.
• Block, Steven, K. Ferree and S. Singh. "Multiparty Competition, Founding Elections, and Political Business Cycles in Africa." Journal of African Economies 12, no. 3 (2003): 444-468.
• Block, Steven. "Political Conditions and Currency Crises in Emerging Markets." Emerging Markets Review 4, no. 3 (2003): 225-328.
• Block, Steven. "Political Business Cycles, Democratization, and Economic Reform." Journal of Development Economics 67, no. 1 (2002): 205-228.
• Block, Steven. "Does Africa Grow Differently?" Journal of Development Economics 65, no. 2 (2001): 443-476.
• Block, Steven and Patrick Webb. "The Dynamics of Livelihood Diversification in Post-Conflict Ethiopia." Food Policy 26, no. 4 (2001): 333-350.
• Block, Steven. "Agriculture and Economic Growth in Ethiopia: Growth Multipliers from a Four-Sector Simulation Model." Agricultural Economics 20, no. 3 (1999): 241-252.
• Block, Steven. "The Recovery of Agricultural Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa." Food Policy 20, no. 5 (1995): 385-405.
Block, Steven. "A New View of Agricultural Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa."  American Journal of Agricultural Economics 76, no. 3 (1994): 619-624.
• Preliminary publication as Harvard University, Center for International Development, Working Paper No. 93; Tufts University School of Nutrition Science & Policy, FPAN Working Paper No. 10.

BOOKS
The Economics of Development, with Dwight Perkins, Steven Radelet, and David Lindauer. 7th edition. W.W. Norton & Company, New York. 2012.

BOOK CHAPTERS
• “Domestic rice price and marketing policies,” with David Dawe, Ashok Gulati, Jikun Huang, and Shoichi Ito, in Rice in the Global Economy: Strategic Research and Policy Issues for Food Security. Eds., S. Pandey, D. Byerlee, D. Dawe, A. Dobermann, S. Mohanty, S. Rozelle, and B. Hardy. Resources for the Future Press for the International Rice Research Institute , 2010.
• “Long-Run Dynamics of Rice Consumption, 1960-2050,” with C. Peter Timmer, and David Dawe, in Rice in the Global Economy: Strategic Research and Policy Issues for Food Security. Eds., S. Pandey, D. Byerlee, D. Dawe, A. Dobermann, S. Mohanty, S. Rozelle, and B. Hardy. Resources for the Future Press for the International Rice Research Institute , 2010.
• “The Decline and Rise of Agricultural Productivity in sub-Saharan Africa Since 1961,” in S. Edwards, S. Johnson, and D. Weil, eds., African Successes. University of Chicago Press, for the National Bureau of Economic Research. Forthcoming, 2013. Originally published as NBER Working Paper No. 16481. November, 2010.
• “The Political Economy of Agricultural Trade Interventions in Africa,” with Robert H. Bates, in The Political Economy of Agricultural Trade Interventions, K. Anderson and E. Valenzuela, eds. Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2010.
• “West African Experience with the World Rice Crisis, 2007-2008,” with P. Timmer, J. Aker, and V. Ramachandran, in D. Dawe, ed., The Rice Crisis: Markets, Policies and Food Security. Earthscan Press, 2010.
• Block, Steven. "Nutrition Knowledge, Rice Prices, and the Micronutritional Effect of Indonesia." In Rice Science: Innovations and Impact for Livelihood, ed. T.W.Mew, D.S.Brar, S.Peng, D.Dawe, B.Hardy, International Rice Research Institute, 2004.
• Block, Steven. "Observations on the Philippine Road to NIChood." In The Philippine Road to NIChood, eds. Scott W. Thompson and Wilfrido V. Villacorta, De La Salle University Press, 1996.



Email Address
Steven.Block@tufts.edu

Office Phone
617.627.2717

Office Fax
617.627.3005

Office Location
Cabot 508

Mailing Address
The Fletcher School, Tufts University, 160 Packard Ave
Medford, MA, 02155