Alumni Profile: Esteban Quiñones

Dr. Esteban J. Quiñones is a development economist and demographer with research interests in rural development, migration, food security, agriculture, social protection, climate change, gender, and labor economics. Quiñones designs and implements experimental and quasi-experimental evaluations, along with observational assessments of social programs, agricultural interventions, and migration. He completed his PhD in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2019 where he was also a predoctoral trainee at CDE.

Who did you work closely with at CDE? Do you still collaborate with anyone at the Center?

Jenna Nobles (still working together)

Were there any special projects, experiences, etc. that you participated in during your graduate training at CDE?

My training in demography classes and the professional training I received in DemSem were complementary to my training in economics and were critical to my development as a well-rounded scholar. Attending PAA also played an important role in this process.

Did your training at CDE shape your career/research path?

CDE shaped my research portfolio and career path by positioning me to tackle inter-disciplinary research questions that are at the heard of the environment-migration relationship.

What current research project you’re most excited about?

  1. Continued work on how heat induced crop losses influence migration decisions from rural Mexico. This is work with Jenna Nobles, Fernando Riosmena (UC-Boulder), and Raphael Nawrotzk (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit [GIZ] GmbH)
  2. An evaluation of a dairy development program in Northern Nigeria aimed at improving the productivity, welfare, nutrition, and empowerment of pastoral households (see and

Do you have any grants you’re working on?

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Millennium Challenge Corporation, and Environmental Law Institute.

Recent publications by Dr. Quiñones:

  1. DeWaard, Jack, Lori M. Hunter, Mason C. Mathews, Esteban J. Quiñones, Fernando Riosmena, and Daniel H. Simon.  2022. “Operationalizing and Empirically Identifying Populations Trapped in Place by Climate and Environmental Stressors in Mexico.” Regional Environmental Change 22: 29.
  2. Quiñones, Esteban J., Sabine Liebenehm, and Rasadhika Sharma, R. 2021. “Left Home High and Dry-Reduced Migration in Response to Repeated Droughts in Thailand and Vietnam.” Population and Environment 42, 579-621.
  3. Quiñones, Esteban J. 2021. “My Mathematica: Esteban J. Quiñones.” My Mathematica, October 12, 2021.
  4. van Rijn, Jordan, Esteban J. Quiñones, Bradford L. Barham. 2019. “Empathic Concern for Children and the Gender-Donations Gap.” Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics 82: 101462.