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Dr. Phoebe W. Ishak


John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies

Economics Department

Postdoctoral Researcher

Lansstraße 7-9
Room 206
14195 Berlin

Office hours

Office hours upon request between Monday to Wednesday.

Phoebe W. Ishak’s research focus is development economics, applied microeconomics, labor economics, and political economy. Her research seeks to demark the effect of labor market structure and natural resources dependency on various economic, social and political outcomes at the national and local levels. In one project, she has looked at the role of deteriorating labor income in driving the impact of negative weather shocks on crime proliferation in Brazil. For the same country, she has studied the spatial distribution of the effects of oil and gas revenues on growth between oil- and non-oil-producing regions. In the field of political economy, she has looked separately at the response of tax revenues and political stability to oil price fluctuations in the presence of large informal economies. In addition to studying the behavior of dictators when faced by an imminent threat of overthrown by analyzing the trade-off between resorting to spending and repression and how that changes with the presence of oil rents. Other projects involve studying the local impact of oil booms on fertility rates, the labor supply of women and male-female wage differential in Brazil. Another examines the impact of early childhood oil-induced-income shocks on adult’s human capital outcomes in Africa

Refereed Publications

Ishak, P. W., and Farzanegan, M. R. (2020). The Impact of Declining Oil Rents on Taxation: Does the Shadow Economy Matter?, Energy Economics, forthcoming.

Ishak, P. W. (2019). Autocratic Survival Strategies: Does Oil Make a Difference?, Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, 25(2), 1-22.

Working Papers

Ishak, P. W. (2021). Murder Nature: Weather and Violent Crime in Brazil. FUB School of Business & Economics Discussion Paper No. 2021/2, Freie Universität Berlin. (Link)

Gradstein, M., and Ishak, P. W. (2021). We Don't Need No Education: The Effect of Natural Resource Income Shocks on Human Capital. IZA DP No. 14004. (Link)

Ishak, P. W., and Meon, P.-G (2020). A Resource-Rich Neighbour is a Misfortune: The Spatial Distribution of the Resource Curse in Brazil, CEB Working Paper No. 19-019, Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

Ishak, P. W., and Fritsche, U. (2020). Oil Price Shocks, Protest and the Shadow Economy: Is there a Mitigation Effect?, WiSo-HH Working Paper No. 52, Universität Hamburg.