Dr. Paul Shaffer

Dr. Paul Shaffer, B.A. (UBC), M.A. (Toronto), D.Phil. (IDS, Sussex)
Associate Professor, Department of International Development Studies

Director, Trent in Ghana Program

Trent University
1600 West Bank Drive
Peterborough, Ontario K9J 7B8

Office location CC E1.6
(705) 748-1011 ext. 7247 • phone

Send an e-mail to Paul

Winner of the 2009-2010 Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching

Research Interests

Interdisciplinary poverty analysis, methodological pluralism, poverty reduction strategies, gender and poverty, impact assessment and monitoring of development programs and policies, political economy of development, development economics.

Recent Publications

Books and Edited Volumes 

  • Immiserizing Growth: When Growth Fails the Poor. 2019. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (edited with Ravi Kanbur and Richard Sandbrook).

  • Q-Squared: Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches in Poverty Analysis. 2013. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • "Q-Squared in Policy: the Use of Qualitative and Quantitative Methods of Poverty Analysis in Decision-Making". 2008. International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches Special Issue (edited with Ravi Kanbur, Nguyen Thang and Ellen Bortei-Doku Aryeetey). Vol. 2, No. 2.

  • "Q-Squared in Practice: Experiences of Combining Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches in Poverty Analysis". 2007. World Development Special Issue (co-edited with Ravi Kanbur). Vol 35, No. 2.

Journal Articles/Reviews

  • "What to Expect from Toronto's Poverty Reduction Strategy?: Lessons from the Global South." 2019 (forthcoming). Canadian Public Policy (with Ricardo Tranjan). 

  • "Seasonal Hunger in the Northern Territories of the Gold Coast, circa 1900-1940." 2017. Economic History of Developing Regions. Vol. 32. No. 3.

  • (with Le Dang Trung) "Assessing the Efficiency Costs of Vietnam’s ‘Missing’ SMEs: a Panel Data Investigation." 2017. Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies. Vol. 4. No 1.

  • “The World Development Report 2015: an Assessment.”  2015. Canadian Journal of Development Studies. Vol. 36. No. 4.

  • “Explaining a ‘Micro-Macro’ Paradox: Did Poverty Really Fall in the Union of Myanmar?” 2015. Journal of International Development. Vol. 27. No. 7

  • “Structured Causal Pluralism in Poverty Analysis.” 2015. Journal of Economic Methodology. Vol. 22. No. 2.

  • “Two Concepts of Causation: Implications for Poverty.” 2015. Development and Change. Vol. 46. No. 1.

  • “The ‘Great Myanmar Poverty Debate’.” 2014. Journal of Poverty Alleviation and International Development. Vol. 5, No. 2.

  • Review of “Poverty and Development in China: Alternative Approaches to Poverty Assessment” 2013. Journal of Development Studies. Vol. 49. No. 7.

  • “Ten Years of 'Q-Squared': Implications for Understanding and Explaining Poverty.” 2013. World Development. Vol. 45, May.

  • (with Le Dang Trung)  “Pro-Poor Growth and Firm Size: Evidence from Vietnam.” 2013. Oxford Development Studies. Vol. 41, No. 1

  • “Post-Development and Poverty: An Assessment.” 2012. Third World Quarterly. Vol. 33, No. 10.

  • "Beneath the 'Methods Debate' in Impact Assessment: Baring Assumptions of a Mixed Methods Impact Assessment in Vietnam.” 2012. Journal of Development Effectiveness. Vol. 4, No. 1.

  • "Demand-Side Challenges to Poverty Monitoring and Assessment Systems (PMASes): Illustrations from Tanzania." 2012. Development Policy Review. Vol. 30, No. 1.

  • “Against Excessive Rhetoric in Impact Assessment: Overstating the Case for Randomised Controlled Experiments.” 2011. Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 47, No. 11.

  • Review of “Moving Out of Poverty, Vol 3: The Promise of Empowerment and Democracy in India”. 2010. Development Policy Review. Vol. 28. No. 6.

  • Review of “Poverty Dynamics: Interdisciplinary Perspectives.” 2009. Journal of Development Studies. Vol. 45. No. 5.

  • “New Thinking on Poverty: Implications for Globalisation and Poverty Reduction Strategies”. 2008. Real World Economics Review. Issue 47, Sept.

  • (with Ravi Kanbur, Nguyen Thang and Ellen Bortei-Doku Aryeetey) “Introduction to Q-Squared in Policy.” 2008.  International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches. Vol. 2, No. 2.

  • (with Ravi Kanbur) “Epistemology, Normative Theory and Poverty Analysis: Implications for Q-Squared in Practice.” 2007. World Development. Vol. 35, No. 2.

Working Papers & Book Chapters

  • "Explaining the Rise of US Inequality: a 'Sinister' View." 2019. ESRC GPID Research Network Working Paper 17, King's College, London. 

  • "Immiserizing Growth: An Overview." 2019. In P. Shaffer, R. Kanbur and R. Sandbrook (Eds.)  Immiserizing Growth: When Growth Fails the Poor. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • "Introduction". 2019. In P. Shaffer, R. Kanbur and R. Sandbrook (Eds.) Immiserizing Growth: When Growth Fails the Poor. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • "Explaining Immiserizing Growth." In A. deHaan (Ed.) 2019. The Edward Elgar Handbook on Inclusive Growth and Development. (Reprinted as Q-Squared Working Paper No. 69. Trent University, Canada. Summer, 2018).

  • "Causal Pluralism and Mixed Methods in the Analysis of Poverty Dynamics." 2018. WIDER Working Paper 2018/115, Helsinki, United Nations University, World Institute for Development Economics Research.

  • “Assessing the Impact of Trade on Employment: the Role of ‘Qualitative’ and Mixed Method Studies.” 2018. STRENGTHEN Working Paper 4. International Labour Office, Employment Policy Dept., Geneva. (Reprinted as Q-Squared Working Paper No. 68. Trent University, Canada. Summer).

  • "Methodological Approaches to the Study of Inequality: Applied Microeconomics, Kuznets and Tilley." 2018. ESRC GPID Research Network Working Paper 12, King's College, London. (Reprinted as Q-Squared Working Paper No. 67. Trent University, Canada.,Summer).

  • “Immiserizing Growth: A Research Agenda.” 2016. Q-Squared Working Paper No. 66. Trent University, Canada. Summer.

  • “From Poverty to Inequality: Implications for Evaluation.” 2015. In R. Rist, A.M. Fernandez and F. Martin (Eds.), Evaluation and Inequality: Moving Beyond the Discussion of Poverty. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.

  • "Colonialism and Seasonal Poverty in the Northern Territories of the Gold Coast, circa 1900-1940" 2015. Q- Squared Working Paper No. 65. Trent University, Canada. Winter.

  • (with Le Dang Trung) “Manufacturing Firm Survival and Growth in Vietnam: Explaining Vietnam’s ‘Missing’ SMEs”. 2014. Asian Institute of Management Working Paper 14-011, Manila.

  • “The ‘Great Myanmar Poverty Debate’.” 2013-2014. Q-Squared Working Paper No. 64. Trent University, Canada. Winter.

  • “The Value-Added of Causal Pluralism to Poverty Analysis.” 2013-2014. Q-Squared Working Paper No. 63. Trent University, Canada. Winter.

  • “’Production’ vs. ‘Difference-Making’ in Causal Analysis: Implications for Poverty.” 2013-2014. Q-Squared Working Paper No. 62. Trent University, Canada. Winter.

  • “Q-Squared in Impact Assessment: A Review.” 2013. Q-Squared Working Paper No. 61. Trent University, Canada. Winter.

  • “Ten Years of 'Q-Squared': Are Two Disciplines Better than One?.” 2012. Q-Squared Working Paper No. 57. Trent University, Canada. Winter.

  • (with Le Dang Trung) "The case of Vietnam." 2012. In D. Mazumdar and S. Sarkar (Eds.) Manufacturing Enterprise in Asia: Size Structure and Economic Growth. London and New York: Routledge. May.

  • "Behavioral Responses to Changes Accompanying Reform: A Q-Squared Analysis from Thanh Hoa Province, Vietnam". 2008. Q-Squared Working Paper No. 53. Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto.

  • "New Thinking on Poverty: Implications for Globalization and Poverty Reduction Strategies". 2008. UNDESA Working Paper No. 65. ST/ESA/2008/DWP/65. New York City: United Nations Publications.


Link to the Department of International Development Studies, Trent University.


International development studies in an economic context(IDST 3100Y) Department of International Development Studies course, Trent University
Advanced topics in development theory and research (IDST 4000Y) Department of International Development Studies course, Trent University
Assessment of development projects (IDST 4220Y)Department of International Development Studies course, Trent University