Roland Pongou

Visiting Scientist

Department of Global Health and Population


Dr Pongou’s primary research interests lie at the intersection of political economy, health human capital, and economic development. His work focuses on the microeconomic analysis of formal and informal institutions, and on the effects of institutions on various aspects of individual and societal wellbeing. His recent research analyzes sexual network formation and the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases in multiethnic societies. This research uses data from both developing and developed countries. He is also currently investigating the institutional and historical causes of important demographic outcomes including fertility behavior, human capital accumulation in children and adults, and female empowerment in African countries.

Dr Pongou’s empirical work on the impacts of institutions is partly informed by his extensive theoretical research in the areas of political design, voting, and fairness in resource allocation. His analytical approach is interdisciplinary, combining economic theory, game theory, social network theory, and quantitative methods. He has also published research that contributes to these areas.

Dr Pongou is a recipient of multiple awards and fellowships. He was formerly a Visiting Scholar in the MIT Department of Economics. At Harvard, he was a Bell Fellow at the Center for Population and Development Studies, a Fellow in the Takemi Program in International Health, and a Scholar in the Program on the Global Demography of Aging. He has served as a Consultant for the World Bank.  He is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa, the Director of Research at the Global Economic Institute, and an Affiliate of the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science. He is a member of the American Economic Association, the Canadian Economic Association, the Econometric Society, the National Economic Association, the African Finance and Economic Association, the Population Association of America, and the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population.


Ph.D., Economics, Brown University, 2010.