Clifford Zinnes

Clifford Zinnes is a Senior Fellow in the International Projects department at NORC.  He specializes in the application of quantitative methods and institutional economics to improve aid effectiveness and economic reform in developing countries. Zinnes has a dozen years of experience designing and overseeing impact evaluations.

Current areas of research include improving the use of statistical methods for addressing recall bias in surveys, evaluation of democracy and governance interventions, integrating the informal sector into the formal business environment, and the role of producer organizations and common property regimes in raising productivity and sustainability.

Zinnes has designed and implemented experimental and quasi-experimental randomized evaluations for irrigation, agricultural support services, public sector transparency and governance initiatives, water and sanitation, property rights regulation, land purchase financing, voluntary resettlement activities, pollution abatement, children’s nutrition, and forest land restitution for MCC, USAID, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Cape Verde, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Romania, and Zambia. During his five years as the senior advisor to the ministers of environment and of privatization of four governments in Romania, Zinnes designed and drafted both framework legislation as well as follow-up regulations in the areas of state enterprise privatization, environmental protection, and water management.

In addition to having started an environmental non-government organization in Romania and a twenty-person economic analysis firm in the United States, he has been a staff member of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Vienna, Austria) and has been on the faculties of Harvard University (Economics and The Kennedy School) and the University of Maryland. He was also the director of research at the IRIS Center for Institutional Reform and the Informal Sector and the deputy director of the International Environment Program at the Harvard Institute for International Development.

Among the countries where Zinnes has conducted research and evaluations are Afghanistan/Pakistan, Belize, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, The Gambia, Ghana, Indonesia, Mali, Mongolia, Morocco, Peru, The Philippines, Romania, Thailand, and Zambia.

Clifford Zinnes latest book is Tournament Approaches to Public Policy in Developing Countries (The Brookings Institution 2009), which followed The Size and Character of the Informal Economy in Mongolia, (Soros). Recent book chapters appeared in Civil Power in Irregular Conflict, Land Policies and Fiscal Decentralization, Politics and Society in Romania, His journal articles can be found in the IMF Staff Papers, Economics of Transition, International Journal of Organizational Theory and Behavior, World Development, Journal of Human Rights, and several others.

Zinnes has received grants from the Brookings Institution, The Harvard Institute for International Development, and the Kershner Foundation. He is also editorial peer reviewer for a number of economics and political science journals. Zinnes is U.N.-certified in Spanish proficiency and has a working knowledge of French and Romanian. Just recently, Zinnes  was awarded a grant for his CESR  proposal, “A Quasi-Experimental Recall-Corrected Impact Evaluation of Micro-Irrigation in Zambia”.