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University of Michigan

Work experience



GeoSource Capital

Associate Editor

China Economic Review

Associate Professor

Colby College

Visiting Research Fellow

International Food Policy Research Institute

Project Associate

HelpAge Zimbabwe

Compound Manager

International Rescue Committee


Chinese Economy
Monitoring and Evaluation
Impact Assessment
Grant Writing
Project Management
Survey Research
Applied Econometrics




Health and AgingBrown, Phil and Thomas Huff. 2011. "Willingness to Pay in China's New Cooperative Medical System." Contemporary Economic Policy 29(1): 88-100.Wong, Po Yin and Phil Brown. 2011. "Natural Disasters and Vulnerability: Evidence from the 1997 Forest Fires in Indonesia." Forthcoming, BE Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy.Brown, Phil, Alan de Brauw, and Yang Du. 2009. "The New Cooperative Medical System: Does it Help Farmers with Health Shocks Maintain Living Standards?" Labor Economics 4(1): 1-22.Brown, Phil and Caroline Theoharides. 2009. "Health Seeking Behavior and Hospital Choice in China's New Cooperative Medical System." Health Economics 18: S47-S64.Brown, Phil, Alan de Brauw, and Yang Du. 2009. "Understanding Variation in the Design of the New Cooperative Medical System." The China Quarterly 198: 304-329. VulnerabilityBrown, Phil, Erwin Bulte, and Xiaobo Zhang. 2011. "Positional Spending and Status Seeking in Rural China." Forthcoming, Journal of Development Economics.Brown, Phil 2009. "Dowry and Intrahousehold Bargaining." Journal of Human Resources 44(1): 25-46. Brown, Phil and Brian Tierney. 2009. "Religion and Subjective Well-Being Among the Elderly in China." Journal of Socio-Economics 38: 310-319.Poverty and InequalityAgostini, Claudio, Phil Brown, and Xiaobo Zhang. "Neighbor Effects in the Provision of Public Goods in a Young Democracy." International Fool Policy Research Institute Working Paper No. 1027.Agostini, Claudio A. and Phil Brown. 2010. "Cash Transfers and Poverty Reduction in Chile." Forthcoming, Journal of Regional Science.Agostini, Claudio A. and Phil Brown. 2010. "Inequality at Low Levels of Aggregation in Chile." Review of Development Economics 14(2): 213-226.Agostini, Claudio A. and Phil Brown. 2010. "Local Distributional Effects of Government Cash Transfers in Chile." Review of Income and Wealth 56(2): 366-388.Agostini, Claudio A., Phil Brown, and Diana Paola Góngora. 2010. "Public Finance, Governance, and Cash Transfers in Alleviating Poverty and Inequality." Public Budgeting and Finance 30(2): 1-23.Agostini, Claudio A., Phil Brown, and Andrei Roman. 2010. "Estimating Poverty for Indigenous Groups by Matching Census and Survey Data." Latin American Journal of Economics 47: 125-150.Agostini, Claudio A., Phil Brown, and Andrei Roman. 2010. "Poverty and Inequality among Ethnic Groups in Chile." World Development 38(7): 1036-1046.Agostini, Claudio A., Phil Brown, and Diana Paola Góngora. 2008. "Spatial Distribution of Poverty in Chile." Estudios de Economía 25(1): 79-110. Agostini, Claudio A. and Phil Brown. 2007. "Spatial Aspects of Inequality in Chile." Revista de Análisis Económico 22(1) 3-33. EducationBrown, Phil and Nicholas Van Niel. "Relative Class Rankings Using z-Scores." Forthcoming, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education.Brown, Phil 2006. "Parental Education and Investment in Children's Human Capital." Economic Development and Cultural Change 54(4): 759-790.Brown, Phil 2005. "Do Human Capital Investments Help to Explain the Relationship Between Parental Education and Child Learning?" Labor Economics 2(2): 60-75.Brown, Phil 2004. "On the Relationship Between Parental Education and Investments in Children's Human Capital." Labor Economics 1(2): 25-45.Brown, Phil and Albert Park. 2002. "Education and Poverty in Rural China." Economics of Education Review 21, 523-541.Brown, Phil 2002. "Parental Investment in Children's Human Capital in Rural China." China Education Forum 3(1): 6-10.Environmental EconomicsBrown, Phil and Yilin Xu. 2010. "Hydropower Development and Resettlement Policy on China's Nu River." The Journal of Contemporary China 19(66): 777-797.Tullos, Desiree, Phil Brown, Kelly Kibler, Darrin Magee, Bryan Tilt, and Aaron Wolf. 2010. "Perspectives on the Salience and Magnitude of Dam Impacts for Hydrodevelopment Scenarios." Water Alternatives 3(2): 71-90.Brown, Phil, Desiree Tullos, Bryan Tilt, Darrin Magee, and Aaron Wolf. 2009. "Modeling the Costs and Benefits of Dam Construction from a Multidisciplinary Perspective." Journal of Environmental Management 90: S303-S311.Kondolf, G. Matthias, Kristen McDonald, Desiree Tullos, Travis Winn, Phil Brown, Mike Gheleta, Paul Pedone, and Robert Wilkinson. 2009. "One Reservoir, Eight Steps: Assessing Cumulative Effects of Multiple Hydroelectric Dams on the Jinsha River." University of California, Berkeley, Working Paper and Under review.Brown, Phil, Darrin Magee, and Yilin Xu. 2008. "Socioeconomic Vulnerability in China's Hydropower Development." China Economic Review 19(4): 614-627.Humanitarian CrisesBrown, Phil and Po Yin Wong. 2009. "Does the Type of News Coverage Influence Donations to Disaster Relief?" Journal of Disaster Research 4(6): 499-505.Brown, Phil and Jessica H. Minty. 2008. "Media Coverage and Charitable Giving After the 2004 Tsunami." Southern Economic Journal 75(1): 9-25. Brown, Phil. 1994. "The 'Good Life' on the Rwandan Border," World View, 7(1): 1-3.

Help Age Zimbabwe, by Philip H. Brown

Founded in 1989, Help Age Zimbabwe (HAZ) is a nonprofit organization that works to alleviate poverty, malnutrition, chronic illness, and other issues affecting the elderly population in Zimbabwe, such as the HIV/AIDS pandemic. HAZ selects communities that have the worst poverty and the greatest vulnerability. The agency’s long-term goal is to make the elders of each community self-sufficient. HAZ also provides housing for the elderly through the Melfort Farm Project. Persons displaced by war and chronic illnesses make up the bulk of the Melfort population. Many of the community’s residents grow vegetables or raise rabbits, goats, and poultry in an effort to maintain food security. The Melfort Farm Project is an innovative program that works to create sustainable recovery for displaced persons. The organization relies on donations by individuals. Those interested in contributing can do so by visiting .About the Author: Philip H. Brown is a development economist whose main research areas include health, education, poverty, and inequity. His work has appeared in The New York Times, TIME Magazine, and on NPR’S All Things Considered.


Development economist Philip H. Brown focuses on studies of poverty and poverty alleviation. Brown has worked and lived in several developing countries, including Chile, China, and various nations in Central America and Africa. His research interests include gender, education, health, and the environment.Philip Brown has served as a Principal Investigator on a number of large-scale field research projects, including a study of the effects of dams on the socioeconomic, geopolitical, and biophysical aspects of life in western China. This study, which ran from 2008 to 2011, was funded by The National Science Foundation. From 2006 to 2007, Brown surveyed 1,500 households in rural China in order to assess the impact of China’s New Rural Cooperative Medical System, in a study funded by the Ford Foundation. Brown has also completed several other development-related surveys in rural China over the past decade.On account of his specialized expertise, Philip H. Brown has been asked to speak at numerous economics conferences. He regularly presents his work at the annual conferences of the American Economics Association and the Chinese Economists Society. He is also a regular participant of the Northeast Universities Development Conference, the Pacific Development Conference, the Midwest International Development Conference, meetings of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, and other conferences that focus on economic development and population.A member of The American Economic Association, Asian Population Association, Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management, and several other professional organizations, Phil Brown was a professor at Colby College until 2011. Brown received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan in 2003, following a Master of Arts in Economics from the same institution and a Master of International and Intercultural Management from the School for International Training in 1996.