Research Staff

Magnus Hatlebakk

Senior Researcher; Coordinator: Poverty Dynamics

Journal Articles

CMI Working Papers

Economist focusing on poverty, social exclusion and rural development.

Economist focusing on poverty, social exclusion and rural development.

Hatlebakk studies household level poverty traps that may result from inferior positions in the rural labor and credit markets. He combines theory with quantitative and qualitative empirical methods to understand the relatively complex economic- and social interactions between the local elite and the less wealthy households within village economies. A deep knowledge of these mechanisms is necessary to understand the likely impacts of development policies, including micro-finance, employment programs, and land-reforms.

Hatlebakk's main line of research focuses on informal credit and labor markets in rural Nepal and India. He works with national level survey data in combination with field-studies, and he conducts tailor-made surveys to understand particular development problems. An example of the latter is his study of savings preferences among rickshaw cyclists.

His interest in rural poverty in South-Asia has led to research on the implications of son-preference for intra-household decisions on education and nutrition, as well as research on caste-based discrimination in rural credit and labor markets. As part of this work Hatlebakk has contributed to the descriptive analysis of social and economic indicators for different castes and ethnic groups in Nepal. And the ongoing ethnic and social conflicts in Nepal have led to research on the underlying causes of these conflicts.

His work ranges from applied analyses that appear as reports for development agencies, such as his 2007 report on the Madhesi uprising in Nepal, via documentation of economic and social progress in Nepal that have appeared as books in Kathmandu, to analyses of the underlying causes of poverty that have appeared in academic journals such as the Journal of Development Economics and the Journal of Development Studies.