Clifford Zinnes

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At the University of Maryland, Clifford Zinnes is a Senior Fellow in the Center for Institutional Reform and the Informal Sector (IRIS Center) for international economics and a faculty member in the School of Public Policy. He specializes in applying new institutional economics to solve economic reform problems in developing countries. Previously, he was a lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He was also an Institute Associate at the Harvard Institute for International Development, and a Former Fellow, Intrastate Conflict Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

His research includes the quantitative assessment of:[1]

One of the issues in foreign assistance has always been acceptance by "stakeholders" and "implemented in accordance with local institutions, culture and norms." He has written papers for the Brookings Institution about "tournament" approaches to finding which proposals will gain greatest acceptance.[2] "Bottom-up" acceptance of programs is a major issue in development programs, especially in Afghanistan. [3]


  • PhD, International Economics, University of Pennsylvania, 1989
  • MA, Applied Econometrics, University of Pennsylvania, 1978
  • BA, Mathematics & Physics, Franklin & Marshall College, 1979